Poland’s Robert Kubica will race for BMW Sauber again in 2008, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported. Mario Theissen, director of BMW Motorsport, said the organization is also renewing the contract of Germany’s Nick Heidfeld. At one point there were rumors that Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, would leave McLaren for BMW. When Theissen failed to scotch the rumors, many racing observers assumed BMW would replace Kubica, a Krakow native. Heidfeld’s position seemed guaranteed because BMW teams always include at least one German driver.
With six races still remaining before the end of the 2007 season, BMW finally squelched the Alonso rumors, announcing that Kubica had already signed for the 2008 season. In fact, according to the Warsaw-based sport magazine Przeglad Sportowy, Kubica signed with BMW only a few days after he was involved in a terrible accident in Canada in early June.
On June 10, Kubica slammed into a wall after colliding with Jarno Trulli’s Toyota. His car was wrecked, but he suffered only a slight concussion and a sprained ankle.Immediately after the car smashed into the wall at 230 kilometers per hour, most spectators thought Kubica was dead. “We confirmed that Robert would drive next season before he recovered from the Montreal crash,” Theissen said. “We wanted him to have confidence in himself and to know that we were counting on him.
He added that “2007 was Robert Kubica’s first full season of starting off in the highest racing category. In his short career with Formula 1, he’s proven himself to be as good as Nick. Robert is unusually fast and understands the technical aspects very well. We want to turn him into a winning driver.” Theissen said Kubica’s and Heidfeld’s great year was the reason BMW Sauber ranks third in the Formula 1 standings.
“I’ve been at Formula 1 for one year and have already gained incredible experience,” Kubica said. “I still learn new things all the time.”Kubica said he is eager to repay the team “for their confidence in me.””Robert is like a diamond in the rough,” Theissen said. “We want to transform him into a champion driver.”Even a world champion like Fernando Alonso wouldn’t be enough to replace an up-and-comer with Kubica’s potential, Theissen said.Last year Kubica, 32, became the first Polish driver in Formula 1 history.