Renault announced today that Robert Kubica would be joining the team from 2010, to replace Fernando Alonso who has signed a deal with Ferrari.
The 24-year-old Pole, who has spent his F1 career to-date driving for BMW Sauber, has been linked to the French team in recent weeks.
Renault team boss, Bob Bell, said that the team are excited to have signed Kubica. “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,” he said.
Kubica first tested in F1 in 2005 after winning the World Series by Renault.
He said of his move: “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.”
In 2006 he joined BMW Sauber as a test driver, and in Hungary that year he made his debut in a race seat. In 2008 he was a championship contender with the team, taking his first pole in Bahrain, and winning in Canada.
He said of his time with BMW: “I'm very thankful to those responsible in the BMW Sauber F1 Team for giving me the chance to get a Formula One cockpit. I think I justified the belief in me by delivering good results.”
He added: “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.”
Kubica finished the 2008 season third in the standings, behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa. 2009 has been a much difficult season for the team, with Robert currently 14th in the standings, and in July BMW announced it would be leaving Formula One at the end of the season.
BMW's team boss, 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 competed in 55 Grands Prix for BMW and in his time there he achieved eight podiums and scored 129 points for the team.
Romain Grosjean currently has the number 2 seat at Renault, however, it is yet to be confirmed who will be partnering Kubica at Renault, with speculation that Heikki Kovalainen may partner him if Kimi Raikkonen is confirmed at McLaren.
“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,” said Bob Bell.
Kubica concluded: “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.”