Robert Kubica Regrets Not Jumping Lewis Hamilton to 2008 F1 Title

Published 06/09/2021, 7:20 AM EDT
BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 19: Robert Kubica of Poland and Alfa Romeo Racing is pictured at the roll out of the Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari during day one of Formula 1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Robert Kubica was a feared driver in his heyday. Although he raced for BMW Sauber, which wasn’t as quick as McLaren or Ferrari, the Polish driver was a candidate for winning the 2008 world championship.


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Currently, a test driver for the Alfa Romeo Racing team, Kubica recalled his title challenge in 2008. He pointed out what made him competitive without the fastest car, and the regrets he still has from that season.

Robert Kubica admits regret over not challenging Hamilton further in the 2008 season


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Although Kubica retired in the season-opening 2008 Australian Grand Prix, he made a strong recovery over the next 8 races. The Pole claimed four podiums in those races, which included his first race win in the Canadian Grand Prix.

However, his challenge faded over the remaining nine races, recording just three more podiums to finish with 75 points. Lewis Hamilton won his first title that year with 98 points, just one point ahead of Felipe Massa.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 11: Robert Kubica of Poland driving the (88) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 11, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Kubica admitted he still has regrets over not sustaining his title challenge further that season. He also mentioned how he led the driver’s championship that year despite not having the fastest car.

He said“This is racing, no one was dominating. 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 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.”


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Kubica: Without the fastest car, we were still leading

The former Williams driver believed the team’s decision to stop developing the car in the second half of the season hurt his chances. He also believed that 2008 presented him his only chance to win the title.


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The Pole said, “I have exactly the same view as I did [back then], 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]

“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.”

Although Kubica didn’t win the title in 2008, he’s regarded as one of the best drivers to race in F1. With 12 podiums to his name, the 36-year-old looks to help Alfa Romeo Racing progress as much as possible.


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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.