Many of us will be sad to see the end of Robert Kubica's Formula 1 career following an unsuccessful return with Williams this year. The 34-year-old unquestionably has the talent to compete at the top level - his star performances in the previous decade provide the hard evidence - but eight years after his life changing rallying accident, the Pole didn't quite deliver. He was out qualified by his rookie teammate, George Russell, on every occasion. Frequent visits to the barriers somewhat sealed his fate.
We'll probably never know exactly what prevented Kubica from more closely challenging Russell, who was the 2018 Formula 2 champ no less. Probably a combination of the lack of on-track experience provided by that extended racing hiatus, coupled with the ongoing effects of his arm injury and, no doubt, the fact his Williams FW42 was, to be frank, a bit rubbish. He and Russell finished last and second last in the 2019 driver's standings, with just one point between them thanks to an anomaly tenth place for Kubica in Germany.
But Kubica is not done with racing just yet, far from it in fact, because he's confirmed for attendance at the upcoming DTM rookie test at Jerez, where he'll be driving a BMW M4. The Pole's relationship with the German manufacturer extends back to his days of driving for Sauber - including when he won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix - so there's history there. And lots of potential; you might, for example, imagine that the slightly lower physical demands of a Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters racer would provide Kubica with less of an issue for his arm.
If BMW were to choose Kubica after the test it wouldn't just be for a favour, either. The marque was beaten to all three DTM titles - driver, team and manufacturer - by Audi in 2019. In fact, in the second half of the season, BMW failed to beat its archrival once, so for 2020 the brand has opted for a driver shake up. BMW is therefore all fired up to turn things around next year, meaning a drive in DTM could actually be the ticket for Kubica to finally get the race seat he has so long desired. We'll be watching with a close eye when he steps into the M4 DTM on the 10th December - and crossing our fingers for the likeable Pole.