Just in case you’ve been in a coma for the past couple of months, Robert Kubica will make his Formula 1 Grand Prix debut for Williams at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix in March of next year.
Kubica returns to Formula 1 after an unprecedented absence of eight years as a result of a horror crash he suffered whilst taking part in the Ronde di Andora rally in February 2010.
The crash left him with a severed right arm, broken elbow, shoulder and leg, and permanent mobility issues with rotation in his right arm that affect his handling of a steering wheel.
His rehabilitation meant that he had to park a burgeoning Formula 1 career that yielded a single Grand Prix win and a hatful of podiums, seemingly for good.
That was until, in 2017 he was given a Formula 1 test with the Renault team, which led to another and another during which the team evaluated whether or not he’d be fit enough to return to F1 in one of their cars in 2017.
This came to naught, but the Williams team, monitoring the situation pounced and signed the popular Pole up to be reserve driver for the 2018 season.
Kubica’s clear determination, work ethic and outright speed (and financial backing it must be said!) convinced Williams that he was worthy of a full-time drive in 2019, and they promoted him to race driver alongside F1 debutant George Russell.
But Kubica still has his fair share of doubters.
His age, the length of his absence from the sport and his disability have combined to give even the most well-wishing of well wishers one or two wobbles about the season that lies ahead of him.
Robert, himself says he understands why question marks exist around his return.
“[I’ve heard for] many years [that] people struggle to believe that I can do it.”
“If I would be a team principal I would also have doubts” he said.
“[But] if I think I will not be able to drive competitively fast I would not be here”.
So it seems Kubica has approached his return with a good amount of pragmatism, and that if he was in any doubt about whether or not he could be competitive he’d have walked away.
Let’s hope he’s right and he can give the Williams team the benefit of his experience and obvious ability, and we all have a season to enjoy!