Robert Kubica confirms he had Ferrari 2012 deal signed

Robert Kubica has revealed that he was set to drive for Ferrari in 2012 alongside Fernando Alonso, prior to his life-threatening rally crash before the 2011 season got underway.

The Polish driver was taking part in the Ronde Di Andorra rally just days after a round pre-season testing for Lotus ahead of the 2011 campaign; the crash with a guardrail intruding into his Skoda Fabia left Kubica with severe injuries and spent the past seven years recovering after countless operations.

In 2017, Kubica got back into F1 machinery for the first time in six years with the Enstone-team, now Renault, as he tested the 2012-spec E20, before receiving an outing in its contemporary machine, in his bid to return full-time to the sport.

Kubica switched focus to Williams, trialling its FW40 in Abu Dhabi, but lost out to Sergey Sirotkin, though joined the team as its test and reserve driver.

Speculation had been rife that Kubica was poised to link up with Alonso at Ferrari, with rumours circulating in the years after, and in an interview with the official F1 podcast, which was released on Wednesday, he confirmed that he had signed a contract.

"The first goal is to enter F1," said Kubica. "Second is to become established in F1, so you have good value, a good reputation, which is more difficult than to enter. Third, you win a world championship or become a Ferrari driver.

"I haven't won a World Championship, in the end, I haven't become a Ferrari driver but I was very close. That's it."

When pressed on whether he had signed a contact Kubica responded "yes", with the deal concluded under then-Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.

The 33-year old admits the missed opportunity to drive for the famed Maranello-based team does hurt with hindsight, but it was less painful than missing out on the opportunities to race in F1.

"My recovery was so hard that for the first 16-18 months it [missing the seat] did not hurt," added Kubica.

"I was fighting, I was concentrating on recovery, I was going through a difficult period. The more time was going the more difficult it was becoming because the hope that things can get sorted are disappearing.

"There were moments I was recovering extraordinarily good and there were then months when surgeries went wrong and I went back six months instead of improving.

"It was painful not racing in F1 but it was not more painful because I knew I was going to race for Ferrari."