Kubica took the lead of the F1 drivers’ championship for the first time after his maiden grand prix victory in Canada in 2008, and was just two points off the top at the halfway point of the season.
But after BMW opted to shift its focus to its 2009 car and the introduction of KERS, the performance of its F1.08 model suffered as McLaren and Ferrari moved ahead with upgrades.
Kubica would score just three podiums in the second half of the season, fading to fourth in the standings as he finished 23 points behind world champion Lewis Hamilton. BMW ended up quitting F1 at the end of the 2009 season after its air-cooled KERS system proved uncompetitive.
Kubica said back in 2008 that he thought it was a mistake to abandon developing the F1.08 further, and has not changed his view in the meantime.
“I have exactly the same view as I did 12 years ago, because in the end I was involved, and I was in the situation where unfortunately I was feeling that this might be our only chance to fight [for the championship],” Kubica told GP Racing. [LINK TO GPR FEATURE]
“We didn’t have the fastest car, this is a fact. Normally the fastest car is winning the championship, but not always.
“For whatever reason – the mistakes of others, doing a better job at the beginning of the season – in the end, without the fastest car, we were still leading the championship.
“You have to use your opportunities, because you never know in life when you’ll get a second chance. I met some of the mechanics after 10 years, who were there with me, and they had exactly the same view. And they regret it, because in the end we didn’t get another chance.”
Winner Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber F1.08