Robert Kubica has confirmed he agreed a deal to race alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari for the 2012 F1 season.
F1: Kubica confirms he signed Ferrari F1 deal for 2012
Robert Kubica has revealed he signed a contract to drive for Ferrari in 2012 prior to suffering severe injuries in a rally crash that forced him out of Formula 1.
Then Renault driver Kubica suffered life-threatening injuries in a horrific rally crash in Andorra on the eve of the 2011 season, which cut-short his promising F1 career.
Remarkably, the Pole returned to the cockpit of modern-day F1 machinery last year as he took part in a series of tests with former team Renault and Williams.
He was considered for a full-time return to F1 with Williams this season, but the Grove-based squad ultimately opted to replace the retired Felipe Massa with Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin, instead handing Kubica a reserve driver role for 2018.
A potential move to Ferrari had long been mooted as an option for Kubica had the rally crash not occured, but when asked by host Tom Clarkson in an official F1 podcast if he had agreed a deal to partner Fernando Alonso in 2012, Kubica replied: “Yes.
“[The] First [goal] is to enter F1. Second is to become an established driver in F1, so you have good value, a good reputation, which is more difficult than to enter.
“Third, you win a world championship or become a Ferrari driver. I haven’t won a world championship, in the end I haven’t become a Ferrari driver but I was very close.”
Kubica admitted he woke up a few days prior to the Ronde di Andora and did not want to compete, but went ahead with the event in his desire to improve as a driver, knowing he would not have had the opportunity again once he moved to Ferrari.
“I was not happy to be as good as I was,” said Kubica. “I need more. I thought rallying would give me this. And it really gave me [that]. The problem is I paid too high a price.
“The fact is this was the last rally I was doing in my life, because I knew the team I was going to next year  I was not allowed to rally.”
Kubica, who participated in a grand prix weekend for the first time since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix earlier this year during practice in Spain and Austria, insisted he did not find his recovery period harder knowing he had agreed a switch to Maranello.
“My recovery was so hard that for the first 16-18 months it did not hurt,” he said. “I was fighting, I was concentrating on recovery, I was going through a difficult period.
“The more time was going the more difficult it was becoming, because the hope that things can get sorted are disappearing.
“There were moments I was recovering extraordinarily good and there were then months when surgeries went wrong and I went back six months instead of improving.
“It was painful [not racing in F1] but it was not more painful because I knew I was going to race for Ferrari.”