Friday, 22 April 2011

Robert Kubica,Biography,Serious injury and uncertain future

Team      Renault
Nationality     Polish
Podiums     12
Points     273
Grand Prix entered     76
World Championships     0
Highest race finish     1 (x1)
Highest grid position     1 (x1)
Date of Birth     07/12/1984
Place of Birth     Krakow

Pre-Formula One
Kubica developed his love for all kinds of cars at the young age of four when he spotted a small off-road vehicle, powered by a 4 bhp (3.0 kW) petrol engine. After long talks with his parents, his father, Artur, bought him the car and young Kubica spent long hours driving around plastic bottles. When he got older it became apparent that he needed better equipment, so his father bought him a go-kart. However, Kubica was too young to start racing in the Polish Karting Championship as he was under the age of ten. When he entered the championship, he won six titles in three years. After his third season, Kubica decided to switch to a more competitive league in Italy. In 1998 Kubica became the first foreigner to win the International Italian Junior Karting Championship.

Kubica also scored second place in the European Junior Karting Championship and won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup held on part of the Formula One Grand Prix track. A year later, he defended his title in Italy and also competed in the International German Karting Championship. He also won the Monaco Kart Cup for the second time in a row, as well as the Margutti Trophy and Elf Masters races. In 2000, his last season in karting, Kubica scored fourth places in both the European and World Championships

Junior formulae

Kubica started his professional career in 2000, as a test driver for a Formula Renault 2000 car. During his first professional season in Formula Renault, Kubica scored his maiden pole position and also became a member of Renault's driver development programme. In 2002 Kubica won four races and scored a second place in the Italian Formula Renault 2000. He was also seventh in the Formula Renault Eurocup. At the end of the year he took part in a Brazilian Formula Renault 2000 race held at the Interlagos circuit. This one-off appearance resulted in a dominant win.
After Formula Renault, Kubica moved to the Formula Three Euro Series. However, his move was delayed by a road accident which left him with a broken arm, and titanium screws holding it together. At his delayed debut at Norisring, Kubica, driving with a plastic brace and 18 titanium bolts in his arm, won the race. He finished the season in 12th place. At the end of the year, Kubica won a street race in Sardinia and came fifth in races held in Macau and Korea. He ended his second season in the Formula 3 Euro Series, spent with the factory Mercedes team, in 7th position. In November 2004, he scored pole position in the Macau F3 Grand Prix, where he broke the lap record, but finished second in the race.
In 2005 he won the World Series by Renault championship with the Epsilon Euskadi team, earning Formula One tests with Renault.

Poland, a former eastern-bloc state with little motorsport tradition, is not renowned for producing famous drivers. And yet, aged just four, a young Robert Kubica was already showing leanings towards his future vocation, persuading his parents to buy him his first car - a miniature petrol off-roader that he spotted in a local dealership.

Soon tiring of racing round bottles in his front yard, Kubica graduated to the karting track. Making the trip to the nearest circuit 150 kilometres away, he found he was still too young to compete and so bided his time, practicing until he reached the necessary ten years of age. After that he quickly came to dominate the Polish series.

Watching his first Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in 1997 was something of an epiphany for the young Kubica and, having already won six domestic karting titles, he decided to head to Italy to test his skills on more challenging foreign soil.

He was promptly signed up by a competitive factory team and in 1998 became the first non-Italian to win the Italian championship. Shoring up his growing reputation with second place in the European series and victory in the prestigious Monaco Kart Cup, Kubica’s winning run remained unchecked. He retained the Italian crown in 1999, adding the German title and the Elf Masters to boot. His karting career culminated with fourth place in the 2001 world championship.

Staying in Italy, he graduated to Formula Renault in 2001. After a slow start, his second season brought four victories and second place overall, by which time he had been contracted to Flavio Briatore and the Renault Formula One team. For 2003 he stepped up to the Formula 3 Euro series and won his debut race at the Norisring. Twelfth in the standings that year and seventh the next, he also made his mark in Macau, finishing second and setting the fastest lap in the 2004 Grand Prix. Then came his most crucial career move.

Signing to race for Spanish team Epsilon Euskadi in the 2005 Renault World Series, Kubica clinched four victories, 11 podiums and three pole positions before being declared champion with three races to run. His reward was a Renault Formula One test in December at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. Finishing his debut session a respectable 11th fastest, Kubica impressed rival team BMW Sauber so much that, just weeks later, they offered him a contract as third driver for 2006.

Kubica more than lived up to his early promise and his name became a regular feature at the top of the timesheets, both in testing and Friday practice session. Well aware of his potential, BMW didn’t hesitate in substituting him for Jacques Villeneuve when the former champion pulled out, first of the Hungarian Grand Prix and then from the team completely. The risk paid off - not only did Kubica become Poland’s first Formula One racer, he would have scored on his debut, had a technical infringement on the car not robbed him of seventh place.

He didn’t have to wait long for recompense. Just two races later, a fantastic performance in Italy saw Kubica claim his first podium. From six Grands Prix in 2006 he claimed six points - just one less than Villeneuve had managed from the previous 12. No surprise then that he was retained for 2007 - when he kept veteran team mate Nick Heidfeld honest to finish sixth in the standings - and 2008, when he really began to blossom.

Quickly establishes himself as a title contender, taking his (and BMW Sauber's) maiden win plus a further six podiums. A drop in the team's form late in the season sees him finish fourth overall with 75 points. Retained for 2009.

After dizzy heights of 2008, comes back down to earth with a bump thanks to uncompetitive BMW Sauber F1.09. Although second in Brazil boosts his points, he starts looking for new drive for 2010 after BMW announce F1 withdrawal and signs for Renault in October.

Receives universal praise after his speed, race craft and dedication to car development make Renault unexpected podium contenders. Scores second place in Australia and thirds in Monaco and Belgium. Makes Q3 in every Grand Prix bar one and finishes year eighth overall.
Kubica remains with Renault – rebranded as Lotus Renault GP through Lotus Cars sponsorship – into the 2011 season, again partnering Vitaly Petrov.[He tested the team's new car, the Renault R31, for the first time in Valencia on 2 February.[38] On the last day of testing in Valencia he set the fastest time of the session.
Serious injury and uncertain future

On 6 February 2011, Kubica was injured in a crash on the first stage of the Ronde di Andora rally. He was driving a Super 2000-specification Škoda Fabia, in Testico when his car left the road at high speed and hit a crash barrier,near the church of San Sebastiano. Kubica was trapped in the car for more than an hour before rescue workers were able to extricate him.He was flown by helicopter to Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure near Savona, where it was confirmed that he had suffered partial amputation of his forearm, compound fractures to his right elbow, shoulder and leg, as well as significant loss of blood. The severity of his injuries were the result of the crash barrier penetrating the car's cockpit, and hitting Kubica, while leaving his co-driver unscathed. Kubica underwent a seven hour operation by seven doctors split into two teams, without complications.Two more lengthy operations to repair fractures to his leg, shoulder and arm were performed successfully a few days later. The condition of his hand will not be clear for some time and it is possible that he will miss the entire 2011 season.As he would be unable to start the season, Lotus Renault signed Nick Heidfeld as his replacement on 16 February, while he still remains signed with the team for the 2011 season.
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