The last few years have seen several famous comebacks to Formula One: Michael Schumacher returned in 2010 after three years out of the sport, with Kimi Raikkonen’s 2012 comeback provoking more flair and emotions on track than any words uttered to the press. Adrian Sutil, too, has returned after a year’s hiatus to less fanfare.
The next driver who could be on the comeback trail is Polish driver Robert Kubica, perhaps one of the lost stars of this generation.
Kubica told Autosport his sole focus is a return to an full-time F1 race seat for 2014. He was most recently in Mercedes’ F1 simulator.
“I’m not able to come back into single-seaters at the moment, and my vision is not to come back in saloon cars on the circuit at this stage,” said Kubica, 28. “There is not any guarantee, there is no percentage to say whether I will come back or not, but it’s also not 100 percent that I will not be back in F1. I will try my best.”
He admitted DTM cars have some appeal later in his career, but not at the moment. Ex-Marussia and Toyota driver Timo Glock has taken up residence in the German championship this season, which starts this weekend in Hockenheim.
Kubica’s rally accident in 2011 cost him his F1 career to this point. His stock was boosted after a sincerely impressive 2010 where he dragged his geriatric Renault to places it shouldn’t have been. His best year, statistically, was in 2008 when he tied for third in the World Championship with Raikkonen, and won his first and only Grand Prix for BMW Sauber at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.
Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.
“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.
“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”