Ten years ago today: Kubica's career-threatening rally crash

Ten years ago today: Kubica's career-threatening rally crash

06-02-2021 13:49 Last update: 13:57

On February 6, 2011, exactly ten years ago today, Robert Kubica 's life changed forever. His Formula 1 career was brutally interrupted by a serious Rally accident. His comeback was a long, difficult road, but against all odds he managed to triumph.

This article was first written by Pelle Gerritsen for

Ten years ago, Kubica was seen as a big promise in Formula 1. He had already sniffed at the title with BMW in 2008 and he showed things at Renault that no one thought possible. At the time he was in the picture at Ferrari to succeed Felipe Massa . However, we will never know what he could have shown at the Scuderia.

In the first weekend of February 2011, Kubica took part in the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy. Rallying was one of Kubica's great hobbies and he had done this before. So the danger seemed far away. No one could have predicted the accident that unfolded there.

Kubica's Skoda Fabia hit the guardrail hard on one of the tests. Nothing alarming during a rally in itself, but because the guardrail broke in two, it was now. The protruding piece of barrier penetrated the cockpit and shattered Kubica's right arm, which was even partially amputated.

Due to the extensive blood loss, the Pole was in danger of his life for a while, but after three long operations, including work on a broken leg, he was able to start a long rehabilitation period. That year there was talk for a while that Lotus would keep its place in F1, but it soon became clear that this was no longer an option for the Pole. The cockpit of an F1 car was too tight due to its new handicap.

And so he moved on to Rallying. Despite the accident, he never lost his love for that sport. Whether he is also a good rally driver, however, is debatable. He crashed a lot and in the three years he drove WRC his best result was fifth place at the 2013 Rally Germany.

After he gave up the rally adventure in 2016, he experienced an unexpected resurrection a few years later. Kubica had never given up on the dream of returning to Formula 1 and found a way through Williams to get in an F1 car. Williams offered him a second chance.

Kubica struggled and was outpaced by George Russell, despite scoring the team's only point in 2019, but the fact that he was back in Formula 1 after an eight-year absence, is in many ways a miraculous achievement. The return remained with one season, but the Pole was by no means finished racing.

In 2020 he drove his first season in the DTM. In general that was not a success, but towards the end of the year he achieved his first podium place at Zolder. Kubica showed once again that he will never give up.

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