Born in Kraków, Poland, on 7 December 1984, Robert Kubica has the distinction of being the first Polish driver to compete in Formula One racing. Kubica started his racing career by competing in the Italian Formula Renault 2000 and Formula Renault 200 Eurocup in 2001. He progressed to Formula Three and continued to build his reputation as a competitive and consistent driver, winning the Renault World Series in 2005.
The year 2006 proved to be a turning point in Kubica’s career as he was appointed as Formula One reserve driver with BMW Sauber. He went on to replace Jaques Villeneuve for the final six races of the season, thereby becoming the first Polish driver to compete in the sport. Claiming third place in the Italian Grand Prix, he became the first driver to finish on the podium within his first three F1 races since Villeneuve achieved this in 1996. It was confirmed at the end of the 2006 F1 season that Kubica would be driving for BMW Sauber for the 2007 season.
Kubica started off well in the 2007 season, consistently achieving point scoring finishes. However, at the Canadian Grand Prix Kubica had a serious accident, resulting in his car rolling across the track, striking a wall and landing on its side. Considering that he had been subjected to a peak G-force of 75G when his car hit the wall, he escaped with relatively minor injuries of a concussion and sprained ankle. It did, however, result in him being unable to compete at the 2007 US Grand Prix, where test driver Sebastian Vettel took the wheel. Kubica was back in action for the French Grand Prix where he finished in fourth place, going on to achieve a fourth place finish for the British Grand Prix as well.
Retained by BMW Sauber for the 2008 season, Kubica soon established himself as a serious contender for the title, taking the first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and notching up second place finishes at both the Malaysian and Monaco events. It was on the June 8, at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix that Kubica achieved his first F1 victory. Having started second on the grid, he soon passed Lewis Hamilton, who was in the lead. On leaving the pits after the first pit stop, Hamilton crashed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, putting both cars out of the race and leaving the field open for Kubica who had been in the pits at the same time. Kubica won the race, joking that it had been his good fortune that Hamilton had not crashed into him seeing as he was alongside Raikkonen when the incident happened. Kubica finished the season fourth in the drivers’ championship.
Following the excitement and success of 2008, the 2009 season proved to be disappointing, with the new BMW Sauber F1.09 underperforming all the way. Robert Kubica managed to earn a second place in Brazil, which boosted his points, but he started to look for an alternative team for the 2010 season. With BMW announcing plans to withdraw from F1, Kubica signed with Renault in October 2009 for the 2010 season, with Russian driver Vitaly Petrov as his team-mate. No doubt fans will be watching the career of this talented young driver very closely as the 2010 season progresses.