Back To The Light

It’s been a dark and bewildering six years for Robert Kubica,since his near-fatal rallying accident in 2011. But in dazzling Spanish sunshine, he made a much longed-for F1 return. We were there to witness it…

Kubica’s first flying lap of the track, which came shortly after 9am on 6 June 2017, is a truly ecstatic moment – not least because it seems scarcely imaginable that it is even happening. Just over six years ago, on Sunday 6 February 2011, Kubica’s career – and, it seemed possible, his life – had come to a sickening halt in a ghastly crash on the Ronde di Andora rally in northern Italy. He’d been competing ‘for fun’ and to keep himself prickle-sharp in preparation for the 2011 F1 season, his second year with Renault F1.

Just three days before his crash, he’d set the fastest time of the Formula 1 season’s first test at this very circuit and he looked certain to play a major role in the grand prix year ahead. Massively respected by his peers (Fernando Alonso described him as “the best of all of us”) and emerging as a cult hero thanks to his relentless, hammer-hard speed, Robert Kubica seemed to be a world champion in waiting. Ferrari were rumoured to have secured his services for 2012.

WORDS Andrew Rowlinson



You can download and read the rest of this fascinating feature supplement for FREE when you order any of our subscription offers - even our Trial offer...

Try 3 issues for just £3 today!