Robert Kubica's crash and his comeback into motorsports
Robert Kubica’s crash during a rally gave a big jolt to his F1 career but he has shown huge determination in returning back to motor sports with the World Rally Championship. Here is a look at the consequences of the rally crash and his subsequent return to racing.
Kubica was born in Krakow, Poland on 7 December 1984. Passionate about racing since childhood, he consistently moved up the ladder in junior formulas before finally getting a drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team in 2006. He was then retained by the team for further seasons. In 2007 and 2008 he proved to be very consistent and achieved several podium finishes. These performances were topped by his victory at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. In 2009, his performances suffered due to the non competitiveness of his car. After this he joined Renault F1 team for the 2010 season, where after several strong performances during the season, he finally finished a credible eighth in the drivers standings.
For the 2011 season, Kubica had already started testing the new Renault F1 car. Taking a break from this, he had taken part in Ronde de Andora rally for personal enjoyment. During the race, he lost control of his car, whereby it left the racing line and slammed into a crash barrier. The crash barrier subsequently penetrated inside Kubica’s side door, which severely injured him. He remained trapped inside his car for over an hour before the medical crew could take him out. From the accident, he received severe fractures on his shoulder, arm and leg, while his co-driver escaped without injuries. Hours after the accident, emergency surgery was performed on him and he was put into an induced coma. Further, two more operations were also performed, but whether he would be able to return to normal healthy conditions was not confirmed by the doctors.
Due to the severity of injuries sustained, he was not able to participate in the 2011 season for the Reanult F1 Team, but he still remained attached to them for the season. Then in November 2012 came the announcement from him that due to the present condition of his arm, he would not be able to race in single-seaters, at least until the situation improves. Due to this, he made his comeback in rally racing, which better suited his condition.
In 2012, Kubica made appearances in some rallies and won also won the Ronde Gomitolo di Lana rally. Finally in 2013, he made his full return to racing with the Citroen in European, World Rally and World Rally-2 Championships. His return was absolutely phenomenal, especially in World Rally-2 Championship, where he stormed to the title with five wins. Impressed with his performances, he has been signed by M-Sport World Rally Team as a full time driver for 2014 World Rally Championship (WRC).
His initial foray into the WRC was tampered by bad luck as he retired from three of the first four races. But this initial poor form was put to rest with his sixth place finish at the Rally Argentina, after which he finally seems to be getting to grips with the rally cars.
It is regretful that his Formula 1 career was prematurely ended, as he was widely being touted as a strong championship contender in the future. Also, in 2013, Ferrari admitted that before his accident in 2011, they had plans to sign him. But still even if out of F1, it should be remembered that Kubica has made an emphatic comeback into motor sports after his accident, he now seems to be getting accustomed to the rally cars and is surely a champion in the making.