Sebastian Vettel says he has “mixed feelings” about Robert Kubica and his return to Formula One.
Former grand prix winner Kubica, now 34, is returning to the grid next year after an eight year absence, after nearly severing his hand in a 2011 rallying crash.
“I have mixed feelings,” 31-year-old quadruple world champion Vettel told Blick newspaper.
“On the one hand, it pleases me personally. No one can even imagine how hard it was for him and what he went through.
“On the other hand, there are also young drivers who deserve a chance,” the Ferrari driver added.
Vettel also revealed that he has never visited his former mentor and friend Michael Schumacher since the F1 legend’s skiing fall and brain injuries of 2013.
He said he misses the sort of advice his German countryman could be giving him at Ferrari.
“Michael spent many years at Maranello and his spirit still hovers over the team,” said Vettel.
“We would be speaking the language of the driver and not the engineer, and that’s why talking to him would be extremely helpful,” he added. “I always had a great relationship with Michael anyway.
“Yes, I miss him.”
Kubica will be partnering British youngster George Russell at Williams F1. The Polish driver will be hoping to get decent results, provided, the team listens to them. The 34-year old has accused the outfit of not listening to their drivers and they are suffering for it.
Williams endured a dismal season; finishing rock-bottom in the Constructors’ Championship after accumulating just seven points. Hopefully for their sake, Kubica and Russell manage to turn their fortunes around in 2019.
I have quite a lot of experience with racing, in F1, so I know what it takes to be a top F1 driver – I’m not scared of it,” Kubica replied when asked about his expectations for his comeback by Motorsport.com. “I know that it requires a lot of work and dedication and I’m ready for it.