ABU DHABI — Robert Kubica says his return to Formula One after eight years away from the sport is proof that “nothing is impossible”.
The Pole partially severed his right arm in a rallying accident ahead of the start of the 2011 Formula One season, forcing him out of F1 midway through his career. He returned to rallying in September 2012 and has since been working back towards a Formula One race seat.
In 2017 he returned to the cockpit of a F1 car for the first time since February 2011 and by the end of the year he had been signed up as a Williams reserve driver for 2018. After a series of tests and Friday practice outings with the team this season, Kubica will return to a full-time drive in 2019 alongside Formula 2 champion George Russell.
“From a human point of view, I understand and I see that this is a story which probably nobody would have believed,” he said at an event confirming his new role with Williams. “The only one who probably never gave up was myself and the people who were around me, who I’d like to thank. But we all knew that it might be something that was not achievable.
“This day shows that, somehow, nothing is impossible. Of course a lot of things had to come together and a lot of work has been included to be here, and not only from my side. But from a driving point of view, the point is very simple: You won’t need to wait much longer to see!”
Kubica said he would not have committed to his return if he felt his injuries would have limited his ability to perform at the highest standard.
“I think if I was not able to drive competitively fast, I would not be here,” he added. “This is, I think, more and more the way of thinking, that people see my limitations and they are asking how it’s possible I can do it. I know it’s hard to believe but I think Williams have seen it this year and I have seen it in the last 16 months, or 18 months, since I first drove an F1 car in Valencia last year that I can do it thanks to work.
“But my limitations are not limiting myself as most people are thinking.”
Kubica added he first returned to rallying after his accident to prove to himself that the reduced mobility in his right arm would not prevent him from driving in the most extreme conditions in F1.
“If everybody who understands a bit of motorsport sees an onboard in a rally car — and if you see what I’ve been doing in rally cars — you’ll understand that driving an F1 car in the wet is not a problem. Because what most people didn’t really understand is that there was a reason why I returned to rallying and that it was the best way of rehabilitation and pushing the limits.
“I knew that if I’m able to do that, I may be able to do more or less every kind of motorsport category in the world.”