Kubica to leave Williams at end of 2019 season
(Photo credit: Clive Mason, Getty images)

The Pole only returned to Formula One at the start of this season after an eight year absence from the sport, having recovered from a life-threatening rally crash.

Having had his return season hampered by an uncompetitive Williams car, Robert Kubica confirmed his exit from the team at the end of the season.

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Not quite a fairy tale ending

Prior to his rallying accident he was set to move to Ferrari in 2011, but the crash derailed his promising F1 career forcing an eight year wait to return to the sport in 2019.

His sensational return to the sport earlier this year had seen him partner reigning Formula 2 champion, George Russell, at a struggling Williams outfit.

Although Kubica picked up Williams' one and only point so far this season in Germany, he has been out-qualified by his rookie teammate at all 14 rounds so far.

The Pole revealed in the press conference ahead of the Singapore GP that he will depart Williams at the end of the 2019 season.

“I took a lot of energy, a lot of time for me to recover, to come back to the sport. Since I joined F1, I would like to stay. I said this year it would be a goal to remain in F1, but not for every cost, and I think I have to first of all do what will bring me back a bit of joy of racing."

After a difficult season the Pole added, “Of course this season has been very tough from a performance point of view, but it has been very demanding. Being back in F1 after long time is not easy, especially when you are in a difficult situation like we are."

In a statement from the Williams team, deputy team principal Claire Williams said, “I would like to thank Robert for his hard work and respect his decision to leave the team at the end of the 2019 season. Robert has been an important member of the team in both his role as reserve & development driver, and subsequently as one of our race drivers in 2019.

“We thank him for his continued efforts throughout what has been a challenging couple of seasons and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Who next for Williams?

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Russell has impressed this term even with the limitations of the Williams car after being promoted to F1 via F2.

Williams look primed to delve into F2 once again in search of a 2020 driver and the favourite for the second seat is F2 frontrunner Nicholas Latifi, who is currently Williams' test driver.

An outsider for the seat is Nico Hulkenberg having been released from Renault and with Haas announcing their decision to retain both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, his future in F1 seems uncertain.