Poland, in all of F1 history, has only produced one driver for the sport. Robert Kubica was hugely popular in the country when he entered F1 in 2006 with BMW Sauber, and this was only amplified when he received his first podium finish in his third race at the Italian Grand Prix.
2008 brought his first victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, and to this day he is the only Polish driver to come P1 in F1. But unfortunately, this success didn’t last long. The driver was looking to move to Ferrari where he would have scooped up plenty of wins, but a rallying accident in the off-season left Kubica with serious injuries, finishing his F1 career before it even started.
Well, that’s not entirely true. In 2018 he became a reserve driver for Williams, and in 2019 he was once again given the chance to show the fans what he’d got. He was brilliant, but the car was arguably the slowest on the grid so he finished the race with only a single point in P10.
Poland still holds Kubica in its heart, but this begs the question: why doesn’t Poland have a home Grand Prix if the country is so in love with the sport?
Yesterday, The Grand Tour visited the Tor Poznań track in the city of Poznań, the track that was set to hold the first Polish Grand Prix in the late 2000s. Currently, the Azerbaijan and Hungarian Grand Prix are the only Eastern European races on the calendar, so it’s not the location that would put off the FIA. Instead, it’s the lack of tracks in Poland.
It takes a lot for the FIA to deem a track worthy of the F1. It has to meet stringent ‘Grade 1’ criteria, which includes the following:
- An interesting layout
- Length should not exceed 7km
- Length must exceed 3.5km
- A straight shouldn’t be longer than 2km
- Track width of at least 12m with the starting grid and first corner at 15m
- 8m of grid per car
- The gradient of the start/finish straight shouldn’t exceed 2% gradient
Of course, these rules are slightly flexible depending on the relationship the FIA has with the track and the level of racing it supplies fans with. The thing is, there are very few Polish tracks that matches this criteria. Although a street race – a popular choice for the FIA at the moment – would be amazing to watch through Warsaw.
But the real deal would be to host the Grand Prix at Poznań, especially after this display from Mark Gene in a Ferrari after it was resurfaced in 2007.
Would you want a Polish Grand Prix? Tell us on our Instagram @grandtournation.
View this post on Instagram
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a Polish Grand Prix?
No, there has never been an F1 race in Poland, although the country did hold a non-championship Grand Prix between the years of 1930 and 1933.
How many F1 races did Robert Kubica win?
How many Polish drivers have there been?
There has only been one. Robert Kubica joined the sport in 2006 with BMW Sauber and received his first podium only three races in. He won his first race in 2008.
Is The Grand Tour heading to Poland?
Yes, The Grand Tour landed in Gdansk and drove West to a race track in Poznań. Here, they raced three open-wheeled race cars.