Robert Kubica’s slim hopes of winning the drivers’ title this year came to an end at Shanghai.
After starting 11th and finishing sixth, Kubica is 19 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
There has been some tension between Kubica and BMW over the team’s priorities this year. After scoring his first Grand Prix win at Montreal Kubica encouraged the team to focus on its title challenge this year.
But resources have been divided between the 2009 challenger, and more time was spent solving Nick Heidfeld’s qualifying problems.
On top of that, in a year when the other two title contenders have thrown points away, Kubica has been a model of consistency by comparison. His most significant points losses were out of his control: being eliminated by Kazuki Nakajima at Melbourne and his penalty under the safety car at Singapore.
The BMW F1.08 might not have been quick enough to mount a championship challenge, but Kubica is certainly ready.
F1 Fanatic readers voted Kubica the driver they most wanted to win the championship last week. We’ll run the poll again in the run-up to the season finale.