Williams confirms Kubica’s 2019 F1 race return
Williams has confirmed Robert Kubica will join George Russell as the squad’s driver line-up for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
The Polish driver has worked as the team’s test and reserve driver throughout 2018 after narrowly missing out on a race berth to Sergey Sirotkin.
His appointment ends and eight year hiatus from F1 after injuries sustained in a rally crash in early 2011 threatened to end his career.
“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,” said Kubica.
“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.”
Deputy team principal Claire Williams added: “I am delighted to announce that Robert will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2019.
“All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and tenacity to return to Formula 1.
“During this season his commitment to the team and the work he has put in behind the scenes has been unwavering, and he has become an established and much respected member of the Williams team.
“He has a level of determination that is remarkable to see; and he truly embodies the Williams fighting spirit.
“Having the consistency of Robert stepping up into this new role will be an important step for us as we look to fight our way back towards the front of the field.
“I am also excited to have a mixture of youth and experience to lead us into 2019 and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve on track.”
Kubica’s signing also seems to mark the end of Sirotkin’s F1 career, the Russian having made his debut with Williams at the start of 2018 while the team’s other current driver, Lance Stroll, is poised to move to Force India.
With just seven points to its name, Williams is currently in the midst of its worst season on record since joining the F1 field on a full time basis in 1978.
Prior to his 2001 accident, Kubica made 76 grand prix starts recording 12 podiums and victory at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix for the BMW Sauber team.