Robert Kubica, Williams, Abu Dhabi, 2018

Kubica says his F1 return “shows nothing is impossible”

2019 F1 season

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Robert Kubica says his return to Formula 1 next year “shows nothing is impossible” in his first interview since confirming his comeback.

Williams announced this morning Kubica will partner George Russell at the team next year.

Speaking to media including RaceFans in Abu Dhabi, Kubica said he understood why many thought he could never return to F1 after suffering serious arm and chest injuries in a 2011 rally crash.

“It’s a story which probably nobody has believed,” he said. “The only one who probably never gave up was myself and the people around me, I’d like to thank them. But we all knew it might be something un-achievable.

“This day shows that somehow, nothing is impossible.”

Kubica said he will prove he is capable of driving competitively despite the injuries he suffered seven years ago.

“From a driving point of view the point is very simple. You just need to wait two months and you will see. I think if I was not able to drive competitive enough I would not be here.

He said it is “normal” for people to “see my limitations and [ask] how it’s possible I can do it.”

“I know it’s hard to believe but I think Williams has seen it this year and I have seen it in the last 18 months since I first drove an F1 car in Valencia last year that I can do it. My limitations are not limiting myself as most people are thinking.”

He described how he realised while testing for Renault last year that he could be able to return as he was able to drive a car “naturally” again.

“In order to drive at the top level you have to drive as naturally as possible. It has to come from no thinking, just driving.

“The turning point was last year when after a few tests in F1 I realised I’ve actually started driving naturally. Then of course I had to adapt my driving more of a technical point of view because the cars had changed a lot. But this I’m happy with what I did this year. And that’s it. There is nothing more to add.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Kubica says his F1 return “shows nothing is impossible””

  1. Some people like to argue that Robert is old and should step back, allowing younger generation (aka Ocon) to step in.

    Some also like to say he will never be as fast as he used to be, or that he’s overrated, or that he won’t make the hotel hairpin in Monaco with only his left hand on the wheel.

    There are even some people saying he’s only another pay driver, that appeared to have this time a bit more money than Sirotkin, as opposed to last year.

    I’d rather sit and wait for the next 12 months before judging it by myself.

    Like him or not, but one thing you can’t deny though: this story, as well as his personality, is purely inspirational.

    After such accident, 99% would not recover mentally to the level he has.

    Out of the 1% that would, 99% would have never come back to sport to the level he has.

    Out of the 1% that would, 99% would have never stayed with Williams after being dumped at 5 minutes to midnight.

    He has stayed.

    And here he is.

    So I suggest we show some respect to this “tenacious pr.ck” as Mark Webber called him recently, and wait another few months for this story to trully unfold before we judge whether he is a “has-been” already or not.

    1. This is probably the first sensible and honest comment about this amazing comeback I have read since the announcement.
      The fact that Robert made it to the 2019 grid is a huge victory for him and his fans. Now he can race and prove his point again and if he doesn’t get the results it will still be an amazing story that I am very excited to witness.

    2. I’ve heard it be said that the difference between winners and losers is that winners turn up, day after day.

      This is an amazing example if it was ever needed.

    3. @hoku – beautiful comment. And nothing like a frank Aussie statement to summarize someone’s character as well.

    4. I’d rather sit and wait for the next 12 months before judging it by myself.

      Yeah remember when Sirotkin was picked over Kubica and all the salty Kubica fans said “Well let’s give the kid 12 months before judging him”

  2. Agree we should wait to judge him this time around. The odds are very much stacked against him especially with Russell as teammate.

    But something does seem a bit different about Robert than any other potential returning 33 year old.

    Just maybe…he will be very good

    1. You agree, and then go on the same tangent… I have no idea how you are comparing Russell to Kubica, and how you come to the conclusion that the odds are stacked against Kubica.

      1. Right, one haded Kubica would be faster except of Alosno, Hamilton, than rest of the field.
        So rookie ?
        I don’t know.
        Russell have to prove that he is not next Vandoorne
        Kubica doensn’t have to prove anything
        :)

  3. To be honest I’m so happy to see him returning in F1. I’ve not been happier to see a driver return since Raikkonen.

    The fact he’s back after sustaining such a terrible injury is just a fairytale. I mean nobody thought he could ever drive an F1 car again and here he is.

    Even if he’s not as quick as he once was the fact he overcame such difficulty to climb back into F1, despite financial and physical setbacks is a hugely inspiring story. Shows that no matter what you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. I rather love that.

    1. @rocketpanda Also, I am sure that Billy Monger and Robert Kubica’s stories are inspirational to other people struggling to overcome disabilities.

      1. @shimks Yeah that’s pretty much what I mean, both of those guys are talented despite their injuries but overcoming the challenges they’ve had forms such a huge inspirational story. I don’t think F1 does ‘feel good’ stories often but this certainly qualifies.

  4. Yet another pay driver. Great!

    ‘Nothing is impossible’ as long as you have a few million behind you.

  5. I must say I’m a bit disappointed that the seat hasn’t been given to someone younger.
    In the meantime Williams probably needs a racer that knows (knew) how to win to progress.
    Also, performance is yet to be demonstrated, I hope he’ll succeed.
    In some ways the Russel / Kubica pairing has something in common with Sauber’s one. Russel will benefit of Kubica’s experience, good for him!

    1. Williams tried 2 young drivers this year. He is only 33! Raikonnen is 39. Enough of the 9ld age theory, a 32 year old just won the world championship.

      1. A 32yo Who lever left The series. Thats a big differ, kimi was away 3 years. Robert has been gone like 8

  6. If Russell beats him from the word go in Australia, how much rope can Williams really give Kubica? A full season? Two? It is a wonderful story and a fine media coup for a team that has needed a win in 2018 but it does seem like a stopgap. If he is significantly behind Russell from the first race and continues to struggle, I can absolutely see the rumbles for change before even midseason.

    1. And if he blows the socks off George then what? George will ne a great f1 driver and possible future champion. My early season prediction ? First 5 rounds of qualifying and race results go to kubica. I do think they will be very close and push each other all season ( as a proper team does)

  7. Stephen Higgins
    22nd November 2018, 17:25

    Can’t wait for him to overtake Stroll next year …

  8. Basic statistics … all of the F1 drivers, past and present, are 1% of 1% of 1% of those that think they can and want to race at the top level. For Kubica to hang in and come back is testament to a whole load of character and drive.
    Not sure who said it …. “Quitters never win, and Winners never quit, but if you never win and you never quite, yer an idiot”.
    As a self confessed member of the latter group, pretty clear that Kubica just Won a BIG ONE.
    There won’t be a more motivated or focused driver on the grid next year.
    If the Williams Team is even half as driven as I expect RK will be, going to be a good year.

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