Don’t for a minute think that Formula 1 drivers are picked on their skills and merit. If it was only that easy. Nope. This is why there have always been some truly horrible, accident-prone drivers, likely never making it past Q1 qualifying. And that is also why there have always been great drivers not driving. Like the rest of the world, Formula 1 is all about the money.
I saw Robert Kubica drive his bimmer to victory in Montreal in 2008. Being Polish, this was especially moving for me. But drivers like Kubica are programmed differently than you and I. They’re not like most people. All they want to do is just race. Like we eat and breathe, they race – they race anything, they race anywhere. It’s a combination of stubbornness and motivation that most people just can’t understand. I was therefore sad but not entirely surprised to learn of Kubica’s almost paralyzing, almost deadly wreck in the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy, in 2011.
At first there was speculation that he will recover and return to Formula 1 shortly. But his injuries were much greater than originally reported. While his fans never gave up hope, the truth was that the chances of Robert returning to Formula 1 were slim to none. Years went by and age sure isn’t a benefit to Formula 1 drivers. Robert did some test drives for Renault and Williams but so did many other drivers. Perhaps we would have seen Robert come back as some kind of a team coach or director or something.
Robert Kubica and George Russell
But no. Not Kubica. This man is more focused and determined that most of us could imagine. This week the Williams Martini Racing Formula 1 team is expected to announce that Robert Kubica, age 33, will join George Russell as the team’s second driver. To call this a comeback would be an understatement.
We also can’t say that this decision was based solely on skill and merit. The Williams Martini Racing team is losing the Martini part at the end of this season – the team’s biggest sponsor is going away. And this is where PKN Orlen comes in. The Polish oil refiner and gasoline retailer is set to sponsor the driver and the team with as much 10 million Euro. In return, Orlen’s logo will splattered all over the cars, the drivers’ suits, and the whole pit-stop crew.
Whatever the case, this is certainly a feel-good comeback story. I think that even his competitors are happy to see Robert Kubica back in the Formula 1 driver’s seat. I am personally excited to be cheering for Kubica once again. I am already planning to attend the Montreal Grand Prix again. Forza Robert!
Pictured: the president of PKN Orlen, Daniel Obajtek, and Robert Kubica.