Williams confirm Robert Kubica in 2019 F1 race seat alongside George Russell

Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will return to Formula 1 racing with the team in 2019, eight years after his previous entry in the championship.

The Polish driver raced in F1 between 2006 and 2010 for BMW Sauber and Renault, taking victory at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.

But a serious rally accident in early 2011 led to a severe arm injury that prompted a lengthy interruption to his career before he returned to action in the World Rally Championship.

Kubica dabbled in circuit racing and in mid-2017 began a programme with the intention of making a return to Formula 1, testing firstly with Renault prior to linking up with Williams.

The 33-year old was overlooked for 2018 in favour of Sergey Sirotkin, who partnered incumbent Lance Stroll, but took up a test/reserve role that included a handful of outings in the FW41.

Williams has now confirmed that Kubica will return to a race seat, joining Formula 2 title leader George Russell to complete an all-new line-up.

"I am delighted to announce that Robert will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2019," said deputy team principal Claire Williams. "All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and tenacity to return to Formula 1.

"During this season his commitment to the team and the work he has put in behind the scenes has been unwavering, and he has become an established and much-respected member of the Williams team. He has a level of determination that is remarkable to see; he truly embodies the Williams fighting spirit.

"Having the consistency of Robert stepping up into this new role will be an important step for us as we look to fight our way back towards the front of the field. I am also excited to have a mixture of youth and experience to lead us into 2019 and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve on track.

"I would also like to thank Lance and Sergey for their hard work in what has been a challenging season. We wish them all the best for their future careers."

Williams has also confirmed Kubica and 2019 team-mate George Russell will take part in the post-race Abu Dhabi Pirelli tyre test.