Robert Kubica: I was fighting for my life when rookies were racing

Robert Kubica insists he will never regret returning to Formula 1, despite Williams’ struggles, pointing to his long route back to the championship in the wake of his serious rally accident.

Kubica raced in Formula 1 from 2006 to 2010 but his single-seater career was ostensibly curtained when he suffered life-threatening injuries in a rally crash early in 2011.

That led to Kubica sustaining limitations to his right arm and he returned to competitive action in rallying, before beginning to explore a Formula 1 comeback mid-2017, testing for Renault before switching focus to Williams.

Kubica secured a 2019 seat with Williams but his return has coincided with one of the worst slumps in the team’s distinguished history, meaning he faces the prospect of spending the year at the rear of the pack.

But Kubica stressed he will never regret trying to return to Formula 1.

“Because of my limitation is looks like I have to show always more than the others as people are putting question marks and doubts,” said Kubica.

“The only thing I can do is try and do my job the best I can and try to leave all Grands Prix with positives and negatives, because I don’t believe there can be 100 per cent positive things.

“You can always do better things; even if you’re winning races, you can always improve.

“I think I’m honest enough with myself to judge properly and correctly what I have to learn, where I have to learn and where I have to improve.

“I think only with this approach, and only this approach, brought me back to Formula 1 and actually to keep fighting, otherwise for me it would [have] been much easier to six years ago accept opportunities in GTs, DTM, enjoy it there and have even less stress.

“I [would] have probably more fun with driving as I would probably be fighting for better positions, but somehow there is a reason I’m here [in F1].

“It might be that at the end of the year I will regret something but one thing I will not regret is to try. Very simple.”

Kubica added that his long journey back to Formula 1 gives him a different perspective compared to his contemporaries.

“When for example rookie drivers were driving I was fighting for my life,” he said.

“It makes a huge difference when you approach the weekend. From where I’m coming I’m honest with myself.

“I was disappointed with things [in qualifying in Australia], not only the performance, in the end I know the reasons, but I didn’t handle some things the way I liked.

“In the race, in an even more difficult situation, I think I handled it correctly.”

Kubica placed 17th during his Formula 1 return in Australia, with his race compromised by sustaining damage to his FW42 on the opening lap.