Robert Kubica has revealed he is set to make his Formula 1 race weekend return at the Spanish Grand Prix in May with Williams, but is expecting a  “tough" first full season back in the paddock after seven years away.

One-time grand prix winner Kubica’s F1 career appeared to have ended back in 2011 when he sustained severe injuries to his right arm and hand in a rally accident, only to embark on a comeback push through 2017.

Despite completing significant test running with Renault, Kubica missed out on a seat with the French marque before being pipped by Sergey Sirotkin to a drive at Williams, only for the team to 
offered him a role as its reserve and development driver for 2018 which he took up.

Kubica was present for Williams’ season launch in London on Thursday night as it unveiled its new car, the FW41, ahead of the 2018 campaign.

The former Sauber and Renault F1 driver is set to feature for Williams in pre-season testing, which starts in Barcelona on February 26. urther run-outs through the season are also planned, including a number of free practice sessions that will see Kubica make his formal F1 race weekend return after more than seven years out.

Asked about his practice programme for 2018, Kubica said he would feature in practice for the races in Spain and Austria, plus one more race he could not remember immediately.

While disappointed not to be racing this year, Kubica stressed he is glad to be back in the F1 paddock.

“I’m back in Formula 1 in a different role to when I was racing in 2011, but I’m back permanently in the F1 paddock, so I’m looking forward to it,” Kubica said.

“It will be interesting to go back to some of the places I have been before, some of them providing different emotions from different moments in my life.

“Sometimes it can be quite difficult watching others racing, but I have a different role this year. It's sure to be a tough season with a lot of races and things to do.

“I have to be on top of the work I have to do for the team. So, let’s get started!”

Kubica's FP1 appearance in Spain will mark his first official F1 race weekend session since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he finished fifth for Renault.


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