The last that he sat behind an F1 car in a Grand Prix was way back in 2010.
Do fans remember the date when Robert Kubica, now a 33-year-old driver competed at the highest level in Grand Prix racing?
Here's rewinding back to the scenes of 2010.
It's needless to say it's important.
It's important to trace the most recent history of one of F1's most enormous talents ever, one who participated in a Formula 1 race as seen last on 14 November 2010.
One wonders, how much time has passed by ever since. Do the math. It's not that complicated, or is it?
8 years of absence from F1 actually boils down to 2920 days. Add a quarter of a year more to that figure, since that's the amount of time it now seems will take Robert Kubica to return to the grand spectre of motor-racing.
Qualifying back then on eleventh, in a Renault, Kubica, went on to gather a P5, a respectable finish.
Then, a near-fatal crash in a rallying contest in 2011 would render a massive blow to his flourishing F1 career.
In fact, so long was the tenure of the medical treatment he was put under that two medical teams, working in tandem for over seven hours came to finally resuscitate a jaded Robert Kubica, struck by a shoulder and elbow injury, the Polish driver also suffering from massive loss of blood.
It would be like being asked to come to a sudden standstill; such are the sudden vagaries of time.
Now, what's changed is that one of F1's old-guards is set to return, having spent years away from the sport, watching live action from the sidelines, holding some stints in other forms of racing.
But, well, a man's to do what he's got to do- isn't it?
For a team that's endured a miserable year, to put it modestly, scoring no more than 7 points from 20 races so far, with just the season-ending contest to go, it's not Williams' active drivers on the grid- Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll- that are making the right noises; it's Polish driver Robert Kubica.
It's been confirmed that Robert Kubica will now be a part of the 2018 grid in F1, marking a return post an eight-year period of waiting.
So far, having contested in as many as 76 race entries, Kubica had managed 12 podiums, including one race win.
That said, his performances helped him earn a total of 273 career points with a place first in the erstwhile BMW team, and later, a stint with Renault.
But what's changed for Kubica is more than the sound of the engines of the car he's all set to drive around in or the era of old-school, inarguably more robust engines, as seen in the case of the V8s.
For a driver who was merely a 25-year-old talent in 2010, Kubica will now have to face the rigours of Formula 1 as a 33-year-old.
That said, it doesn't mean that it's going to be all that tough.
After all, there are guys like Kimi- approaching 40, changing teams- who are still going strong. Raikkonen's impressive form along with Alonso's efforts to fight for something, the wild rants notwithstanding, do go on to confirm the fact that as long as one has the heart to compete, age is, well, just a number.
Interestingly, for Kubica, who hasn't been all that active in the sport, apart from having tested the car a few times, age isn't a concern all that much. How old is Lewis, one might ask? The same age, right?
What would matter of course would be the ability to constantly feature in points and fight for podiums, since for a driver as hungry as Kubica, a P8, P9 or P10 and those places won't really count as such.
Back in the day, when Kubica was one among the few young men on the grid, he was able to clinch 3 podiums in 2010. It seemed another win, that would have taken his tally to two, was around the corner. This is when, all of a sudden, his motor-sports career was truncated.
Now, as the talented driver returns, a veteran of a sort, who made his debut back in 2006, a question that will play on his mind would be the overall capability of his Williams car.
This year has been anything but a period of hostility and indifference for the team.
Can the car of 2019 be something worth fighting with? Where natural skill and speed stand, there's hardly a doubt about the Pole.
But where the car stands, who knows?Published 21 Nov 2018, 19:40 IST