Motorsports, Reviews

Robert Kubica. A Polish hero turned zero then hero, again


I believe many recalled the story of Batman, where Thomas Wayne tells the younger Batman that the reason why we fall; so we learn to pick ourselves up. What we have here is another heartfelt story of how a Polish racing driver, Robert Kubica, has risen from becoming the first Polish F1 driver, suffered a horrific rally accident that almost killed him and halted his F1 career in 2011, but climbed back up to the top in 2013.

He came from Central Europe where motorsports is nothing but common, the young Kubica began karting in Europe and his success in karting developed into a career in a single-seater in Formula Renault at the age of 16. In 2005, he clinched the inaugural Formula Renault 3.5’s title, which brought him attention from BMW Sauber, recruiting him as the official reserve driver for the team.  He became the first Pole to drive an F1 car in 2006, and have his first taste of F1 racing in the Hungarian Grand Prix.  He stayed with BMW Sauber until the end of 2010, with a few podiums wins and a race victory in Canada in 2008. In 2010 he moved into the Renault F1 team and was poised to be a front runner for the driver’s championship.

One of his favourite hobbies during the F1 off-season is rally racing and occasionally he drives in rallies in Europe. However in 2011, his passion in rallying almost cost him his life when he was involved in a horrific accident at Ronde di Andora rally in Italy. He was driving the Skoda Fabia S2000 when he lost control and hit the crash barrier. The metal barrier penetrated his right hand and some other fractures on his arm, while his co-driver escaped unhurt. His long but painful road to recovery meant that he is unable to start in the first race for the Renault F1 team which was rebranded to Lotus F1 in 2011. Soon his chance to return to F1 was diminishing as days goes by.

While his racing career was hanging by a thread, in 9 September 2012, against all odds he returned to rally racing in a local round in Italy, and he did it by style by winning the rally by a minute ahead of the second placed driver. In 2013, with his new confidence in rallying despite his with his injuries on his hand, he participated in WRC-2 in the World Rally Championships, driving the Citroen DS3 RRC. Just recently on the Rally of Catalunya, Spain, he took his fifth victory of the year, meaning he clinched the WRC-2 driver’s title as well, with one more round in spare. His option for 2014 is a possible drive in a WRC main category, although the Pole has not ruled out to return to Formula One despite the circumstances.


“I’m happy, but there is still a long way to go in terms of my recovery,” said the Polish driver .“It’s a nice experience [to do the FIA World Rally Championship]. However it is no secret I like to comeback to single-seaters [F1],” he continued in an interview with WRC Live. Most importantly, he is seem to be smiling all the time with his rally endeavours, showing his love on rallying overcame his injuries.

On that notion, our highest respect to the tall Pole and let’s hope he will be back to F1 in the coming future.