Williams has agreed to give its last remaining seat for 2019 to 33-year old Polish driver Robert Kubica, eight years after a horrible rallying crash almost put an end to his racing career.
According to Autosport, Kubica had already moved to the top of Williams’ list of preferred drivers for 2019, after first being in contention for a Renault seat following multiple tests this past summer.
After his brief stint with Renault, Kubica ended up in a reserve driver role with Williams, a position that ultimately allowed the team to assess his driving across five days of testing and two Friday practice sessions.
The team has now announced that Kubica will line up alongside George Russell for them in 2019. The announcement was made ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the very same location where Kubica made his last Formula 1 race start all the way back in 2010.
“Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me during what was a difficult period of my life over these last few years. It has been a challenging journey to make it back to the Formula One grid, but what seemed almost impossible is now beginning to feel possible, as I am excited to be able to say that I will be on the Formula One grid in 2019,” stated the Polish driver.
“For sure, it has been a long road to get to this point, but as that challenge now comes to an end with this announcement, a new challenge begins working with Williams on track. It will not be easy, but with hard work and dedication, both George and myself will work together to try and help the team get in better shape to move further up the grid. This year has been tough, but I have learnt a lot, and I’d like to thank Sir Frank and Claire for this opportunity.”
“Being back on the F1 grid next season will be one of the greatest achievements of my life, and I’m sure with hard work and commitment we will be able to help motivate the team to achieve good things together. Thank you again to everyone who has supported me and believed in me. I will finally be back on the grid behind the wheel of an F1 car, and I cannot wait to get back racing.”