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Official: Williams confirms Kubica for 2019

NEWS STORY
22/11/2018

Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will complete the team's driver line-up for 2019, partnering George Russell.

The Pole impressed the team after conducting several tests for Williams in 2017 before taking on the role of reserve & development driver for the team for the 2018 season.

During this time he has spent extensive time working both trackside and at the factory, also having the opportunity to drive the FW41 during official testing and a number of FP1 practice sessions.

The 2017 tests marked Robert's return to an F1 car after he sustained severe injuries in a rallying accident in 2011, which temporarily put his career on hold.

Prior to his accident, Kubica achieved a total of 12 podiums and went on to claim his maiden F1 pole position and victory in 2008, when he finished a career-best fourth in the Drivers' Championship.

The Formula One race-winner made his F1 debut in 2006 and recorded a podium finish inside his first three races, marking him as one of the sport's most promising young talents.

The Pole has completed a rigorous rehabilitation programme to prepare for the upcoming season, and looks forward to joining his teammate George Russell, who enters his rookie year in Formula One, in 2019.

"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," said Kubica. "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.

"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."

"I am delighted to announce that Robert will be stepping up to the role of race driver to partner George in 2019," added Claire Williams. "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 One.

"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. I would also like to thank Lance and Sergey for their hard work in what has been a challenging season. We wish them all the best for their future careers."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paolo, 27/11/2018 21:36

"Massive massive respect for Robert but at 39. Time will tell whether he can keep pace throughout the season or whether he will have to pull out of the more difficult street circuits, this has denied another young driver a valuable seat"

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2. Posted by imejl99, 22/11/2018 11:01

"Respect"

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3. Posted by FQITW, 22/11/2018 10:32

"Brill!

Williams at last have a decent driver line up."

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 22/11/2018 9:58

"I guess we all thought this would never happen, what great news."

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