Hamilton pays tribute to Kubica


Barring a shock deal which sees him claim a seat with another team, it appears that Robert Kubica's F1 dream is finally over.

The man, who many, including Ferrari it would appear, believed was a potential world champion, had his career cruelly cut short in early 2011 in a rally crash that almost ended his life.

However, rather than accept what fate had dealt him, the Pole began a long, impressive process with the sole aim of returning to the F1 grid.

Dealing with the various setbacks and false starts that devilled him along the way, this season the Pole finally got his chance.

However, it was clear, almost from the out-set, that Kubica would not be able to pick up where he left off in early 2011, just days after topping the opening test session for the forthcoming F1 season.

Following the news that he is likely to leave F1, Lewis Hamilton was among the first to pay tribute to the Pole, the Briton having first raced him when they were in karts.

"I've known Robert probably the longest," said the world champion, "we started racing together in go-karts, like 1997... 1998. For me, Robert's one of the most talented drivers I've competed against. As I say, from that beginning I already saw the talent that he had, and when he got to Formula One...

"What's remarkable is the strength and determination he's shown," he continued. "Particularly through the incident he had.

"Not a lot of people can come through those circumstances and come back, make it back into the sport and deliver against others who don't have the same situation that he's been in.

"I think it's been great to have him back. It's definitely not the same scenario as when he was obviously in a more competitive team back in the day - but I think he's done great this year.

"We need the best talent in the sport and we obviously need them to be as high up as possible creating a part of the show. So I hope he stays.

"I understand his position and I don't know what's given him the reason to make the decision but I hope there's a position for him next year."

"He's an inspiration for anyone that had a bad experience," added Romain Grosjean. "The first time I spoke to Robert was 2009 in Abu Dhabi, I think. We were supposed to be team-mates in 2010. I was very, very much looking forward to it. It didn't happen.

"Then obviously I followed Robert as the third, or reserve driver at Lotus when he had his accident and then the way he came back...

"In motorsport he is an example, but also in life generally, to come back to the highest level and, as you say, fight the way he fought back is very impressive."

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Published: 20/09/2019
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