“If he is at 100% it will be amazing”: Hamilton and Alonso welcome Kubica back | 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Robert Kubica has been welcomed back to Formula 1 by rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, who rate him as one of the best drivers they have competed against.

Williams announced today Kubica will make his return to F1 racing next year following an eight-year absence.

“I raced him from karting days so I’ve known him for a long, long time,” said Hamilton in today’s FIA press conference. “He was always one of the most talented drivers that I had the pleasure of racing against.”

Kubica suffered serious arm and chest injuries in a rally crash in 2011. Following a long rehabilitation he came close to landing an F1 seat for this season, but instead spent the year as Williams test driver.

“I know he has had a really difficult time over the last God knows how many years now,” Hamilton continued, “it’s just great to see he’s got the opportunity back.

“I hope he works hard on his strength and getting his mind back into gear like he was in the past and I think it’s exciting for the sport to see him back in action.”

Hamilton joked he had another reason to celebrate Kubica’s return. “I’m so happy he’s coming back, because Fernando is leaving and I was going to be the second-oldest driver but now I still remain the third. I can’t tell you how happy I am about that.”

Alonso, who will not race in F1 next year, said Kubica is “one the great talents the sport has had.”

“It’s great to see him back to race,” Alonso added. “It remains to be seen what will be the performance of the car, and his own performance, because we only saw a couple of test days. But if he is at 100% he will be amazing to watch, so happy with him.”

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