Two previous seasons, 2007 and 2008, were very successful for both Sauber F1 team and its driver Robert Kubica. Sauber took 3rd position in the Constructors’ Championship in 2007 (which turned to 2nd when McLaren was excluded from the standings due espionage controversy involving Ferrari and McLaren) and 2008. Kubica was 6th in the Driver’s championship in 2007 and 4th in 2008 scoring his first Grand Prix victory in Canada in 2008. So the expectations for 2009 were high. Both drivers, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, were in their fourth consecutive year with the team. Sponsorship from Petronas and status of quasi-works BMW team were the reliable grounds to be optimistic. But something went wrong. The new F1.09, built according new regulations restricting rpm to 19000 and allowing KERS system, was under-developed, and both drivers expressed discontent with the slow improvements to the car during the season. Kubica managed to score his first points of the season with a 7th place only in 7th round of the Championship in Turkish Grand Prix. The car proved more competitive at the end of the season and Polish driver scored his only podium finish at penultimate race in Brazil. But BMW already decided to quit Formula 1 after 2009. Kubica moved to Renault for 2010, while Heidfeld lost F1 seat for the next year, but returned to Sauber in September 2010 replacing Pedro de la Rosa.
|Robert Kubica||5||BMW Sauber F1 Team|