Robert Kubica is one of F1’s lost champions. The Pole is of course, a Grand Prix winner, yet his promising career was cut short by a hideous accident while rallying during pre-season in 2011.
On Thursday, it was announced that Kubica will compete a full season in the 2017 World Endurance Championship, driving with the ByKolles squad in LMP1.
This new chapter of Kubica’s inspiring story is highly significant.
“After my time in rally I’ve been looking for something as close to Formula 1 as possible,” Kubica stated in the announcement. “This is exactly what I’ve found in LMP1.”
WEC has long been considered the closest alternative to F1 in motorsport. LMP1 machinery has high downforce, immense straight line speeds and intricate powerunit design, featuring prototype cars at the cutting edge of technology.
Be it through being forced out of the sport or choosing to retire from the pinnacle, one of the first questions a driver departing from F1 is asked nowadays is, “heading to WEC?”
Mark Webber, Sebastian Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kamui Kobayashi, and Kazuki Nakajima are all examples who have not only found a prominent seat in the series, but gone on to at least challenge for – if not be crowned – champions at Le Mans.
Kubica’s options in motorsport continue to be limited by the injuries he sustained in his accident. F1 and single seater cockpit design in general means that, as a result of the claustrophobic nature of the ‘office,’ a return to F1 is not an option at the moment.
With this in mind, Kubica has reached the pinnacle of his second career. He will be piloting the fastest machinery he can access on the world’s most impressive circuits in front of global audiences in 2017.
It is the least he deserves and opens up the next fascinating chapter of a truly inspirational story.