The Pole, who returned to F1 this year with the Williams team after a forced hiatus of eight years, still carries the injuries he sustained in a crash in the Rally of Andorra in 2011, calling a temporary halt to a Grand Prix career that had already earned Poland’s only ever Formula 1 driver a win.
For many observers, these injuries combined with the length of time he was away from F1 would amount to too great a struggle for Kubica to overcome, and that Monaco in particular would highlight his disability with some doubters even doubting that he’d be unable to complete the race.
However, despite qualifying last for the sixth time in six races in 2019, Kubica burst from his grid slot and was up two places by the time the dust settled from the first corner melee.
Not content with that, he’d taken his Williams FW42 up to 15th (albeit partly as a consequence of those ahead of him pitting when Williams opted to keep him out), and looked set for a (relatively) strong finish before he was unceremoniously knocked into a spin by a clumsy attempt at an overtake by Alfa’s Giovinazzi and tumbled down the order as he righted his car before crossing the finishing line in 18th position.
“I think overall a lot of people thought I would not even be able to turn the steering wheel” Kubica told Autosport after the race.
“I knew I would be fine.”
“I think I did pretty well, and I can be happy. Of course the final result could have been better, but that’s how it is with racing.”
However, he will face the added pressure of Williams reserve driver Nicholas Latifi taking his car in Friday practice which will not only limit the running Kubica gets in preparation for the Grand Prix, but it will allow those watching to make a direct comparison between the two.