Ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok says Robert Kubica’s return to the sport is a “great human story” after being “literally on death’s door” following his horrific rallying accident. 

The 34-year-old Pole will complete a remarkable comeback to the F1 grid with Williams in 2019, eight years after suffering severe injuries in a crash while rallying on the eve of the 2011 season. 

The accident cut-short Kubica’s promising F1 career, but following a number of tests across the past 18 months with Renault and Williams, he earned a full-time drive for the upcoming campaign as part of the British squad’s new-look line-up including F2 champion George Russell

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“There’s lots of good stories up and down the pitlane,” Chandhok said at Autosport International. “[Kubica’s return] is a great human story. 

“We can’t downplay it. This was a guy who was literally on death’s door. After his rallying accident, it’s not an exaggeration to say that he was on the edge for a little while. 

“Robert’s a friend and to see him come back, driving again and living his life to the best of his abilities is fantastic. Now that he is back in F1 it’s a great human story.”

2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner Kubica admitted he understands why his return to F1 has prompted doubters but insisted he “would not be here” if he and Williams did not believe in his ability. 

“He wants to be judged as a racing driver,” Chandhok, who rejoins Sky Sports’ broadcasting team for the 2019 season, added. 

“He doesn’t want to be judged as a driver with injuries. He wants to be judged on his own merit and when he gets to qualifying in Melbourne he will be judged as just another one of the 20 drivers on the grid. 

“The proof will be in the lap time. The stop watch never lies so when we get to Melbourne we’ll see where he ends up in qualifying.”