Robert Kubica: No reason to be 'afraid' at eight-year F1 absence
Robert Kubica says he has no reason to be “afraid” that his eight-year absence from Formula 1 racing will count against him when he lines up on the 2019 grid.
Kubica raced for BMW Sauber and Renault from mid-2006 until 2010 but did not compete thereafter in the wake of sustaining a severe arm injury in a rally crash.
Kubica began exploring the possibility of a comeback mid-2017, testing for both Renault and Williams, and accepted a reserve role with the latter for 2018.
The Pole participated in several test days and three practice sessions through the course of the campaign and last month Williams confirmed that he will return to a race seat for 2019.
Only four drivers have had a longer absence between starts while just two – Jan Lammers and Luca Badoer – have skipped more than the 158 Grands Prix that Kubica will have missed between entries.
“Of course from one side I have quite a lot of experience from racing, especially in Formula 1, as I did five seasons,” said Kubica.
“For sure I know what it takes to be a top F1 driver so I am not scared of it and I know it requires a lot of work and dedication and I am ready for it.
“From a technical point of view, driving point of view, we have winter testing, so by the time we get to Australia that is enough time to be ready.
“In 2019 we will all start from zero so I am not afraid that I have been away for eight years.
“I am looking forward and I know what it takes and what I have to do. If I do my job well I am sure everybody will be happy.”
Kubica has been open about the limitations he has with his arm and says he can understand why observers could have doubts about his ability.
“As you can hear, and I heard it for many years, people struggled to believe that I could do it,” he said.
“All team managers, all team principals, if I [was] a team principal I would also have doubts.
“But that’s the reason why I said this year has been very useful because my first - the first meeting [with Claire Williams] I remember when we met I said that if you have any doubts we shouldn’t be doing it.
“First of all, I have to be sure I can do it, and that’s why I’m here.
“But second of all, all the team has to be convinced that I’m able to do the job.
“I think, we talked a lot about driving but I think I can give a lot to the team away from the car, and in the position I think the team is, we will gain much more also on work away of the car than only by driving.”