Robert Kubica: People forget that it was I, not George Russell, who scored Williams’ point

Robert Kubica returned to Formula 1 in 2019 after suffering horrific injuries in 2011.

Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica has emphasised that returning to Formula 1 after his 2011 crash was one of the most difficult challenges he has ever faced in his career.

Kubica started in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2007 with BMW Sauber, scoring points on 12 occasions in a season that had already featured a major incident for the Pole.

Kubica lost control of his car heading towards Turn 10 in Canada, and he speared off across the grass and into the wall, slewing back across the circuit as the car rolled in the air.

His subsequent injuries meant that he could not partake in the Unites States Grand Prix a week later, so he was replaced by one Sebastian Vettel, the German managing a point on his debut that weekend.

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Undeterred though, Kubica missed just the one race, and Montreal would be the scene of his victory in 2008, before Sauber suffered a disappointing 2009 season.

The now 37-year-old headed to Renault in 2010, and appeared on the rostrum three times in an excellent year with the French side.

The remarkably promising driver was gaining some stupendous momentum, and he was touted as a future championship contender; there were reports that he was destined to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari in 2012.

A wonderful career was just beginning to kick off for Kubica, but then he went to Andorra.

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The then Renault driver was taking part in the Andorra Rally in early 2011 as he prepared for another exciting season with the team, and further podiums and race wins were anticipated.

However, he suffered a horrific accident during the event, slamming into a metal barrier, which broke in half, penetrating his car and partially severing his arm.

In truth, Kubica was lucky to escape with all of his limbs still attached, but his F1 career was all but over.

Years of surgeries and therapy would follow, and it became increasingly evident that a return to the premier class of racing was going to be difficult.

But Kubica has made a habit of overcoming the odds in his career and, by 2017, he was back behind the wheel of a single seater.

Renault agreed to give Kubica a test in Hungary during the summer break that year, but they were not convinced by his cornering ability as he put the strength of his injured arm to the test.

Williams however, upon running Kubica in Abu Dhabi later that year, did not agree with that.

After dropping Sergey Sirotkin at the end of the 2018 season, the British side gave Kubica a full-time seat alongside rookie driver George Russell.

Kubica was back to a round of applause in the press conference ahead of that year’s Australian Grand Prix, and returning after a life-threatening accident eight years prior was a magnificent personal achievement.

“After my crash in 2011, I didn’t always think I would return to Formula 1, and so returning to Formula 1 at Williams was the biggest success I’ve ever had in my racing career,” he said in an interview with

However, Williams were in trouble. They missed the first test in Barcelona after they failed to get the cars ready in time, and they arrived late for the second test after they had scrambled together the parts.

This was a sign of things to come; Paddy Lowe departed by mutual consent after the evident failures over the winter, and Williams quickly discovered that they had an uncomfortable car that was barely capable of leaving the back row of the grid, let alone scoring points.

“It was a shame that the car was not good that year, as fans have few memories of my comeback because of that,” explained Kubica.

However, at the crazy German Grand Prix that season, it was Kubica who would score the Grove-based team’s only podium of the season when both Alfa Romeo drivers were disqualified from the wet race.

That point meant the world to Kubica, whose return had been vindicated after years of recovery.

“Similarly, people forget that I was the one who managed to get a World Championship point that year, and that was no easy task with that car,” he stated.

“I am still proud of that point scored at the German Grand Prix, it was an important moment in my racing career. 

“It was the culmination of the long road I had to travel to get back into an F1 car and to get back into life at all. A moment that unfortunately very few people remember, but that is how it works in Formula 1.

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“It’s a pity that’s the case, but on the other hand I realise that many other people can’t do what I’m still doing now after the bad accident. 

“In the end I even managed to get back into an F1 car, whereas I had to start from scratch after my accident. 

“I really had to learn everything all over again, but step by step I came back and even turned down opportunities to return to Formula 1 earlier. 

“At that moment, my body was not ready and I would probably have opened many wounds again if I would have entered at that moment.”

While Russell out-qualified Kubica at every race in 2019, and had a perennial pace advantage, Kubica was performing at the highest athletic level, and anyone who does that has the respect of the 12-time podium finisher.

“That world championship point was very important to me because it was a very big moment after the road I had travelled to get back into the premier class of motorsport,” affirmed Kubica.

“Unfortunately, people forget that moment very quickly, partly because [Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi] were disqualified and I took the point. 

“However, that does not take anything away from my achievement; like so many other top athletes, I did not get the recognition I deserved, I myself look at top athletes in a very different way. 

“For me, a cyclist who finishes last is still a f****** great sportsman, for whom I have a lot of respect. 

“No one can see what he/she is going through, but he/she travels the same road as the winner and will therefore always have the greatest respect from me. 

“Just like every top athlete gets it from me, because every athlete has his own story.”

Kubica has contested two free practice sessions for Alfa Romeo this season, replacing Zhou Guanyu in Spain, before filling in for Valtteri Bottas in Hungary.