Robert Kubica’s F1 career in video

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Kubica reached the podium in only his third F1 start

F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer looks at Robert Kubica’s F1 career so far as the Polish driver prepares to switch teams for 2010.

Robert Kubica is about to enter a new chapter in his career as he moves to Renault next season.

Kubica is touted as one of F1’s rising stars, and with good reason. Let’s take a look back at his racing career to date.

1999 – His first noteworthy performance was in his early karting days. He won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup two years running. This is the second of his wins.

2000 – Even at this early stage Kubica was starting to become popular in his native Poland. Here he is giving a karting demonstration for Polish TV – along with the prerequisite live interviews.

2005 – Kubica was a regular at Macau – he went there thrice in an attempt to win there. However, he could do no better than second in 2004 and 2005. In this race, he couldn’t beat Lucas di Grassi for the win. As you watch the on-boards, keep an eye on Bruno Senna, who stuffed his car into the barriers.

As he was wrapping up his F3 commitments, Kubica began to drive in the World Series by Renault. Driving just one year in the series, he took the championship with the Epsilon Euskadi team. Thanks to that championship, he got a one-off test drive in a Renault F1 car. Despite impressing everyone in the team, Flavio Briatore wavered before making a decision, and eventually lost Robert to BMW.

Here is an amateur video of the start at Donington that year. Keep an eye on Robert as he moved up to 3rd in the course of the short video.

2006 – By moving up to F1 as a third driver for BMW, Kubica was taking a risk by not actively racing anywhere else. However, his pace during the Friday practice sessions stunned people in the paddock. Rumors then began to swirl about Kubica getting an early crack at a race drive.

Jacques Villeneuve’s accident in Germany was all the opportunity they needed. They duly asked Kubica to substitute for the “unwell” Villeneuve, and would’ve scored a point on his debut had his car not been underweight.

But it would get even better. Here’s the start of the Italian Grand Prix where, thanks to his awesome getaway and a little bit of luck, he earned his first ever podium finish.

2007 – The one big thing that happened to Kubica in his first full season was that huge crash in Canada. He was very lucky to suffer nothing more than a mild concussion and a sprain. Here are the highlights from that race (accident starts at 0:35) – with a Takuma Sato cameo at the end, too.

The accident wasn’t Kubica’s only problem, though – he also found it very difficult to beat his team mate Nick Heidfeld that season, which took a bit of the lustre from Kubica’s star.

2008 – Last year was Robert’s best F1 season to date. He had a solid start to the season, taking his first pole position in Bahrain, and finally scoring his and BMW’s first win in Canada. At that point, he was leading the drivers championship, and BMW was only a couple of points away from leading the constructors.

But BMW’s form faded, and so did Kubica’s chances, despite Hamilton’s and Massa’s many errors. Thanks to a podium in Japan, he still had an outside chance in China, but a poor weekend meant he was no longer in contention by Brazil.

2009 – BMW always claimed that they had reduced work on their 2008 car to focus on their 2009 car. Initially, it seemed to have paid off, after nearly finishing on the podium in Australia (if Robert hadn’t collided with former BMW team mate Sebastian Vettel, as shown below).

Since then, they’ve been trouble with many reliability problems that has put them closer to the bottom of the standings than the top. It may have been one of the reasons behind BMW’s sudden withdrawal from F1 for 2010 onwards.

So Kubica now returns to the team that helped him into F1 – Renault. But a post-Fernando Alonso Renault does not initially look too encouraging for Robert. He’ll need to work very hard to drag the car and the team back to the front.

15 comments on “Robert Kubica’s F1 career in video”

  1. We still don’t know how long his contract is for at Renault, it seems just to be so he keeps a seat in F1 and he can wait to have a go at grabbing a seat at Ferrari.

  2. schumi the greatest
    16th October 2009, 11:32

    ive been very dissapointed with kubica this season…all hes done is moan. Look at the approach of another young driver who was stuck in a bad car, lewis hamilton, just got his head down and drove the wheels off the car. Thats why maclaren love him, he just gets on with the job and doesnt critiscise the the team.

    I was impressed with kubica last year, he was so consistent, but it looks to me like he may be another button, where when the car is right for him he’s brilliant but when its not quite soo good he struggles to get the maximum out of it.

    Be intresting to see who his team mate at renault is next year but he’s definitley going to be a multiple race winner over the next few years, whether he wins a championship will depend on circumstance i think!

    1. Hmmm, cars are getting developed and Hamilton finally got an excellent car for races he won or could have won. ;) BMW never gave their drivers a good car in 2009.

      1. Thats kind of the point. Hamiltons cars isn’t excellent. He is literally driving the wheels of it. Its whats going to save McLaren pride this year. The car is a decent midfeild runner that is getting its victories from inspired driving.

  3. Too bad he’s going to Renault. Great to have a drive, but I’d like to see him at maybe Brawn or Mclaren. If Teflonso barely scores points in that car then I doubt Kubica will do better.

    1. Would you comment the same back in 2006 late in the season when Renault was for the second time world champion. Or last year when Brawn still was Honda and they had one of the worst car on the grid (for years)…. No i think not…

      1. still working on my time machine…

  4. He’s a promising young driver who seems to have been eclipsed this season by Vettel as the ‘next big thing’. He did very well last year but was let down by BMW Sauber’s decision to concentrate on developing the ’09 car, which has proved to be a dud.

    I like the guy, so I’m optimistic about Renault’s chances for next year. After what’s happened to them they’re lucky to have the services of such a good and obviously competitive driver who has something to prove after his poor showing this season. Given a decent car he’s hard to beat, as he showed in the first half of 2008.

    Realistically, though, he’s probably already eyeing up a seat with Ferrari for 2011 after what must surely be the inevitable Alonso-Massa fall-out.

    And as for THAT crash in Canada – it’s pretty spectacular, thanks for posting footage of that. He was lucky to come out of that one with mild concussion.

  5. @schumi the greatest

    You must be joking?

    Kubica kept his mouth shut this year, contrary to Hamilton who at the beginning of 2009 season was constantly moaning about how crappy his car is. And he wasn’t exactly stellar in his driving (Monaco especially when he was fighting against Kubica at the very last row) And Silverstone was a real spinfest – hardly driving the wheels off the car.

  6. More critically, he has been eclipsed by Opa Heidfeld. And over the course of their careers in the same car Kubica is no better than the German.

    1. But he is a upcumming talent and stil learning and Heidfeld missed the big brake through…. So there is the difference…

    2. Hmmm, with all those poor results in 2009 nobody was eclipsed by anybody in BMW. Just no crash for Robert in Australia and just think – who would be over who? ;) Also remember last year. Quick Nick is never quick enough to win a race, sorry.

  7. Kubica is a fine driver but I don’t foresee him winning the title or genuinely competing for it more than once, even if he does get a Ferrari drive.

  8. Great Massa vs Kubica fight in wet 2007 Japanese GP is worth to be mentioned here.

  9. This is the coment to the clip about the kart racing in Monaco( for all that don’t know polish language): Of course Robert Kubica won this race without any money and sponsors. He was nobody. Don’t forget, Lewis Hamilton was competing in that race too. He did bad. He is an averge withouth Ron Denis and a shiny Maclaren. I think Robert sooner or later will drive for Ferrari for many years.

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