Kubica to race for Renault in 2010 07 Oct 2009
Renault confirmed on Wednesday that Robert Kubica will race for the team in 2010. Kubica will replace Fernando Alonso, who is to join Ferrari next year, in the French squads line-up. Kubica, who currently drives for BMW Sauber, took his sole Formula One victory to date at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix and finished last season fourth in the world championship.
"I am very happy I will be joining Renault in the 2010 season, said the Polish driver. I feel I have a special connection with this team because in 2005 I won the World Series by Renault. This gave me the chance to test with the team in Barcelona, which led to my debut in Formula One."
"I share with Renault a strong winning mentality and feel comfortable with their friendly and open attitude. I'm highly motivated and optimistic that together we can be at the front of the grid next year and hopefully fighting for the world title."
Renault team principal, Bob Bell, added: "We are very excited to have signed Robert with the Renault F1 Team starting next season. Ever since Robert made his Grand Prix debut in 2006, he has been on our radar as one of the most naturally talented drivers of his generation and he has delivered on that promise so it's great to have secured him in one of our cars next season. Renault has high ambitions and hopes for the future of the team and we feel that Robert can play a big role in fulfilling them."
After success in Italian Formula Renault, Formula Three and the Renault World Series, Kubica made his Formula One race debut in 2006 replacing former world champion Jacques Villeneuve mid-season. He finished his first complete season in 2007, accumulating 39 points on his way to sixth in the standings, before challenging for the championship in 2008.
This season, however, he has struggled to make much of an impression with BMW Saubers F1.09 looking distinctly uncompetitive. He has scored just nine points so far, and after BMW announced plans to withdraw from Formula One racing, he began looking for a new drive for 2010.
"I'm very thankful to those responsible in the BMW Sauber F1 Team for giving me the chance to get a Formula One cockpit," added Kubica. "I think I justified the belief in me by delivering good results.
"In 2008 I managed to get the first pole position in Bahrain and the first win in Canada. Both will remain unforgettable moments for me. For 2010 I will have a new challenge. I wish everybody I worked with at the BMW Sauber F1 Team all the best for the future. I'm sure in the future our paths will cross in Formula One."
Paying tribute to Kubicas contribution, BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: "Robert played an important role for us - and certainly we did the same for him. He joined us in 2006 as a test driver with no Formula One experience, and then we promoted him to be one of our team's drivers during that season.
He never let us down and, with our first pole position in 2008 in Bahrain and first victory the same year in Canada, he set milestones in the history of our team. We are grateful for his strong and constant performances and wish him all the best for his future."
Kubica has competed in 55 Grands Prix for BMW Sauber, during which he has achieved eight podium finishes and collected 129 championship points.