In Brief

F1: Robert Kubica agrees deal to race for Williams in 2019

It’s an incredible return to F1 after the Polish racer’s near-fatal rally crash eight years ago

Williams are set to announce that Robert Kubica will drive for the team in the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The 33-year-old is currently Williams’s test and reserve driver and Motorsport.com understands that a deal for next year has been agreed. He will partner British rookie George Russell in the Williams line-up.

The news is expected to be announced tomorrow at a press conference in Abu Dhabi where the final grand prix of the season takes place this weekend.

It will mark a fairytale return to F1 for Kubica after he was left with severe arm injuries after a rally crash nearly eight years ago.

The Polish driver last raced in F1 for Renault in 2010 but a near-fatal crash on the first stage of the Ronde di Andora rally in Italy in February 2011 left him with horrific injuries. He lost part of his arm in the crash and suffered compound fractures to his right elbow.

In addition to the interest from Williams, Kubica has been linked with an F1 development role at Ferrari. Speaking to Autosport before the Brazilian Grand Prix this month, he said: “Maybe the wish of driving and coming back to F1 is bigger than the wish of a long project. I leave a lot to personal conclusions.

“When I’m saying I want to make my mind up, it’s also about what I want to do with my future. I’m not looking only for the next three months, or one year.”

With Russell and Kubica set to be in the line-up for next year, Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin’s spells at Williams could be under threat. Stroll is expected to join Force India for next season.

Williams are bottom of the 2018 constructors’ standings with only seven points from 20 races. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 21st and last of the season, takes place on Sunday.

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