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I've changed after near-death accident: Kubica

Williams driver Robert Kubica will be taking nothing for granted in Australia next week, when he makes an astonishing comeback to Formula One.

The 34-year-old Pole is returning to the sport after crashing and partially severing his right forearm in a rally he had entered for fun in northern Italy before the start of the 2011 season.

It has taken eight years, with extensive surgery and considerable physical and mental adjustment, to achieve what many considered an impossible dream and to return to where he always wanted to be.

Kubica told Reuters that at a certain point in his recovery, he realised he had changed.

He said: "If I came back to Formula One, it's because I'm different. If I were to have the same character now as 10 years ago, I would not be here. Before I was black or white, yes or no. Nothing in the middle.

REALISTIC

"My accident - 15 centimetres right and nothing would have happened; 10 centimetres left and I would not be here.

"Maybe that's why you start seeing that it is not black and white, and there can be something in the middle."

His arm is thin and twisted now, but that is not the only change to the man who won the Canadian Grand Prix with the now-defunct BMW-Sauber in 2008.

He said he had to be realistic about what he and the team, last overall in 2018, could achieve this season.

They have a new car that came late to testing and was then the slowest on track.

"If you ask me if I feel confident, I will say yes. But, on the other hand, I know I will face situations that I didn't face for a very long time," he said.

"If you ask me how the first corner will be, I don't know. But nobody knows." - REUTERS

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