Robert Kubica Will Race for Williams F1 Full-Time in 2019
The once-promising driver hasn’t competed in a Formula 1 race since a near-fatal rally crash in 2011 permanently damaged his right arm.
Here's the feel-good comeback story we've all been waiting for: Robert Kubica has secured a deal to race for the Williams Formula One team in 2019, reports Motorsport. Williams is expected to make a formal announcement over the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix weekend.
Kubica hasn't raced in Formula One since a near-fatal rally accident in 2011, where the Skoda Fabia he was racing was impaled by a guardrail. The crash left him with limited mobility in his right arm. Before then, he was widely considered to be one of Formula 1's most promising up-and-coming racers and a potential future world champion.
The severity of his injuries forced him to step back from Formula 1, but that didn't keep him from racing. By 2012, he was already back in a rally car, winning the first race he attempted after his crash. Rallying led to GT3 drives in 2016 and 2017, and tests in Formula E and privateer LMP1 cars in 2017.
Eventually, he worked his way back into testing a Renault F1 car in 2017, which went well enough that he was back in the running for an F1 seat. Williams was close to giving him his comeback in 2018 until a late change in plans saw the seat Kubica was linked to go to Russian Sergey Sirotkin.
However, Williams kept Kubica on as a reserve driver in 2018 where he has continued to get tests with the team. Sometimes he even ran faster than Williams' 2018 drivers.
Given that Williams is losing its titular Martini sponsorship this year, it's worth noting that Motorsport reports that Kubica came through with additional sponsorship to seal the deal on this 2019 drive. Cash is, after all, the reason why Sirotkin was such an appealing driver for Williams to sign over Kubica last year, but now Motor Sport Magazine understands that Sirotkin's funding isn't as much of a sure bet for 2019.
Either way, I know who I'll be rooting for next season—it seems impossible not to.