Robert Kubica believes the post-season Abu Dhabi test is “crucial” to Williams’ understanding of Pirelli’s new Formula 1 tyres and ultimately setting off its recovery bid.

The pole will make a remarkable comeback to F1 next season with Williams, eight years after having his promising career put on hold when he sustained a partially-severed right forearm in a horrific rally crash on the eve of the 2011 season.

Along with Formula 2 champion and Mercedes junior George Russell, Kubica will complete an all-new line up at the British squad, which is looking to recover from a woeful 2018 campaign in which it scored just seven points and slipped to the bottom of the F1 constructors’ championship after a new design concept with its FW41 backfired.

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Kubica is sharing driving duties at Williams with new teammate Russell during the two-day, post-season test at Yas Marina, which is focused on providing teams with the chance to test Pirelli’s new-for-2019 compounds.

Asked if he already has expectations for 2019, Kubica replied: “It is too early. We have to do our job, which starts here in testing, evaluating new Pirelli tyres.

“It will be a crucial test so we have to focus on this, try to understand them, try to get as much information about there.

“Of course, the cars will be different next year, but still the tyres are a crucial part of current F1. So it is very important sessions coming.

“That is why we have to focus and do our job. We have put down a solid program, so let’s hope we will be able to complete it.”

Kubica returned to the cockpit of Williams’ 2018 challenger for opening practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, having last appeared for the team in Austria back in June. He admitted it was a “big relief” to get behind the wheel once more, in a session the team tailored towards 2019.

“There has been a long way to come, but we had a program to do which we completed,” he said. “Of course, it was oriented more to next year.

“So we tried to simulate and pick up data about what can happen and is important for us to understand before we go for the winter break.

“It was a good session from a test point of view. Driving point of view was a bit complicated - 4 months not driving the car. But the feeling was good.”