Robert Kubica has sealed a remarkable return to racing action in Formula 1 after Williams officially announced him for the 2019 season.
Kubica’s very promising Formula 1 career came to an abrupt halt eight years ago after suffering severe arm injuries in a rally crash in Italy.
The Pole initially stepped up his comeback plans by testing for Renault but, after being released, it was Williams that represented Kubica’s best chance of return to the Formula 1 grid.
He lost out on a 2018 seat to Sergey Sirotkin following a post-season test in Abu Dhabi, but stayed in the mix by accepting an offer to become their reserve and development driver this year.
His patience has now been ultimately rewarded as he will now replace the Russian and partner George Russell in 2019.
It is believed an offer to become a development driver for Ferrari was also on the table for Kubica, but the lure of returing to full racing action in Formula 1 has proven too good to turn down.
Kubica rose back to the top of Williams’ shortlist after he secured further sponsorship from his native Poland.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) November 22, 2018
“I am delighted to announce that Robert will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2019,” said deputy team principal 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.”