Even if it was a comeback to forget in Melbourne, Robert Kubica doesn’t regret rejoining the F1 grid, fully aware of why his return – and Williams – were undermined in Australia.
Kubica’s miraculous revival was the sport’s greatest feel-good story in years, but a lack of preparation and circumstances combined to turn his resurgence into a nightmare rather than a dream.
Both the Pole and Williams team mate George Russell were stranded at the bottom of the timesheet all weekend as the pair failed to extract adequate speed from their troubled FW42.
On race day, Kubica’s afternoon went from bad to worse just a few hundred yards after the start when a contact destroyed the front wing of his Williams.
His solitary run thereafter predictably brought him home last. Asked if he then regretted his decision to return to the fray, Kubica was adamant that he did not.
“No, because in the end I took the decision after thinking for more than six weeks last year,” he told Autosport.
“I knew it would be an extremely difficult challenge for me to be back in such a competitive sport and being on the grid, and I knew it might be difficult for Williams.
“But I didn’t expect to come to Australia so unprepared, not from a physical point of view but from a lack of driving.
“For me, before testing, Barcelona would be the most important days of the last eight years as a driver – although not as a person, when I was in hospital and couldn’t walk.
“As a driver, there haven’t been more important test days in my life from the driver point of view as Barcelona.
“Unfortunately Barcelona didn’t work out at all,” he added.
“So it put me into the difficult position, but somehow I have to go through them here, in Bahrain, and probably for a couple more races.
“But I hope and, from what I can see, I think I cannot regret. Even if I struggled here [in Australia], I still enjoyed it, which is a big difference compared to long time ago.
“I am not an emotional guy but after the race, it felt like a great achievement.”
Unfortunately, the 34-year-old’s state of affairs has fanned once again the flames of his doubters.
“Because of my limitation, I always have to show more than the others because people always have doubts,” he added.
“The only thing I can do is try to do my job the best I can, and try to leave all the grands prix with positives and negatives.
“I don’t believe that there can be 100% positive things. You can always do better things. Even if you are winning races, you can always improve.
“Knowing how F1 has changed, I think I am honest enough with myself to judge properly and correctly what I have to learn, where I have to learn and improve.
“I think only this approach brought me back to F1 and actually kept me fighting.
“But somehow there is a reason why I am here. And it might be that at the end of the year I will regret something, but one thing I will not regret is to try.”
Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter