Robert Kubica is to race for Williams in 2019, completing a remarkable comeback eight years after a rally accident that nearly killed him.

The 33-year-old Pole suffered a partially severed right arm among many other injuries in the crash and still has partial movement in that limb.

A story of remarkable resilience and determination, it could go down as one of the greatest comebacks in sport.

Kubica will partner British rookie George Russell at Williams next season.

Kubica said: “From the human point of view, I understand and see the point that it is a story that probably nobody has believed. Probably the only one who never gave up was myself and the people around me.

“We all knew that it might be something not achievable. This shows that somehow nothing is impossible.

“From the driving point of view, you just have to wait a few months and you will see. If I would not be able to drive competitively enough, I would not be here.

“It is a normal way of thinking that people see my limitations and ask how it is possible I can do it, and I know it is hard to believe.

“But Williams has seen it this year and I have seen it in the last 16 or 18 months since I first drove an F1 car in Valencia last year that I can do it, thanks to work, but also that my limitations are not limiting me as most people are thinking.”

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “It is a great credit to his strength of character and tenacity to return to Formula 1. He has a level of determination that is remarkable to see.”

Kubica was poised to start a second season with Renault in 2011 when he crashed on a rally in northern Italy in February.

His car was penetrated by a road-side barrier and as well as inflicting multiple fracture and injuries on the right-hand side of his body, it also almost severed his arm.

For a time, his life was in danger, but Kubica started a long process of rehabilitation aimed at returning to the sport.

For several years, he felt he did not have enough movement in his arm to race in single-seaters, and he competed for three years in the World Rally Championship.

He then tried a series of different racing cars to see if he could be competitive in them, and a turning point came at the end of 2016 when he tried a simulator at the factory of Italian racing car constructor Dallara, and realised a return to F1 might now be possible.

In 2017, he conducted a series of tests with Renault, who eventually passed on the opportunity to sign him, and then began talks with Williams, who were poised to sign him for 2018 before a last-minute change of heart.




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