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DECEMBER 20, 2005

Kubica signing a big boost for F1 in Eastern Europe

BMW has announced that it has signed up Robert Kubica of Poland to be its test and development driver in 2006. Kubica will run in the team's third car at Grands Prix events. The 21-year-old from Krakow won the 2005 World Series by Renault and has shown impressive speed throughout his career and was once a Renault test driver but he was dropped from that programme and his management was taken up by Spaniard Joan Villadelprat, who worked for many years in F1.

"We are convinced that he has the potential and the will to make the leap into Formula 1," said Mario Theissen. "We 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."

If all goes to plan Kubica could become the team's second driver in 2007.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for me," says 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 F1 involvement."