The squad of drivers is complete. Robert Kubica of Poland is to be the third man in the BMW Sauber F1 Team as the test and substitute driver. He will also be at the wheel of the team's number three car deployed in the Friday free practice sessions.
The 21-year-old from Krakow made his decisive mark when he took the title in the 2005 World Series by Renault formula class. His contract with BMW allows for an extension beyond the 2006 season.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: "We have been following Robert's progress and are very impressed by his performance in recent years. He has worked hard to achieve his success without major support. We are convinced that he has the potential and the will to make the leap into Formula One and are delighted to be able to give him the opportunity to do so. As the number three driver he will gain experience while at the same time helping the team develop the car."
"It's a fantastic opportunity for me," said Kubica. "I'm going to prove that I have earned it. For a young driver like me the three-car rule is a godsend. In the past, test and replacement drivers were only sent out on test tracks, but I will get to know all 19 grand prix circuits and the ins and outs of a GP weekend. I would like to thank everybody who has helped me along the way over the last few years. Without these people I would not now be looking to a Formula One involvement."
Robert Kubica was born in Krakow on 7th December 1984. He took up go-karting at six and by the age of ten he was Polish champion. Three years later he moved to Italy in search of more challenging competition. In 1998 he became the first non-Italian to win the Italian Junior Kart Championship, as well as coming second in the European Kart Championship.
In 2001 and 2002 he competed in Formula Renault, where he ended the second season as overall runner-up in the Italian Championship. 2003 marked his debut in the Formula 3 Euro Series in which he won his maiden race, held at Nuremberg's Norisring. In 2004 he came seventh in the Euro Series and second in the Formula 3 GP in Macau.
In 2005 he represented the Spanish team Epsilon Euskadi in the World Series, which features 3.5-litre V6 engines by Renault. Kubica took four wins in 17 races and, with a total of 154 points, romped away with the title ahead of Adrian Valles (ESP/116) and Markus Winkelhock (GER/114). On 1st December 2005 in Barcelona, he took his first Formula One test for Renault at the wheel of the current R25.