Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
2 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
16 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
39 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
53 days
13 Jun
Race in
60 days
27 Jun
Race in
74 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
95 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
109 days
29 Aug
Race in
137 days
05 Sep
Race in
144 days
26 Sep
Race in
165 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
193 days
31 Oct
Race in
200 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
242 days

Kubica still has regrets over missed title bid in 2008

Robert Kubica says he still feels some regret over missing out on a challenge for the Formula 1 world title in 2008 after BMW stopped developing its car mid-season.

Kubica still has regrets over missed title bid in 2008

Kubica took the lead of the F1 drivers’ championship for the first time after his maiden grand prix victory in Canada in 2008, and was just two points off the top at the halfway point of the season.

But after BMW opted to shift its focus to its 2009 car and the introduction of KERS, the performance of its F1.08 model suffered as McLaren and Ferrari moved ahead with upgrades.

Kubica would score just three podiums in the second half of the season, fading to fourth in the standings as he finished 23 points behind world champion Lewis Hamilton. BMW ended up quitting F1 at the end of the 2009 season after its air-cooled KERS system proved uncompetitive.

Kubica said back in 2008 that he thought it was a mistake to abandon developing the F1.08 further, and has not changed his view in the meantime.

“I have exactly the same view as I did 12 years ago, because in the end I was involved, and I was in the situation where unfortunately I was feeling that this might be our only chance to fight [for the championship],” Kubica told GP Racing.

“We didn’t have the fastest car, this is a fact. Normally the fastest car is winning the championship, but not always.

“For whatever reason – the mistakes of others, doing a better job at the beginning of the season – in the end, without the fastest car, we were still leading the championship.

“You have to use your opportunities, because you never know in life when you’ll get a second chance. I met some of the mechanics after 10 years, who were there with me, and they had exactly the same view. And they regret it, because in the end we didn’t get another chance.”

Read Also:

Kubica remained in mathematical contention for the title until the third-to-last race of the year in Japan, where a second-place finish was not enough to keep his hopes alive.

It was a season that saw final title protagonists Hamilton and Felipe Massa both slip up, creating the opportunity for Kubica and BMW to stay in the fight despite suspending development of its car.

"This is racing, no one was dominating,” Kubica said.

“Ferrari and McLaren were stronger at some tracks than others, but had technical issues and made mistakes. That’s how I came to be leading the championship, and stayed in the fight so long, without the fastest car.

“I remember in Fuji qualifying sixth, with [teammate] Nick [Heidfeld] 16th. We were nowhere with performance. But I led on lap one and finished second. I’m sure if we were racing the parts we’d tested three months earlier, I’d have won that race.

“I still have some regrets about it, but I also feel that I was fortunate to be in this position – because there are many talented drivers who never had that chance.”

shares
comments
Explaining the science behind F1 simulation

Previous article

Explaining the science behind F1 simulation

Next article

Why F1's new initiative on racism must follow Hamilton's lead

Why F1's new initiative on racism must follow Hamilton's lead
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Robert Kubica
Author Luke Smith
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021