Robert Kubica says attending the Australian GP this year after coming so close to racing with Williams won't be a "nice moment".
The Grove-based outfit made a clear call however, and awarded the second drive alongside Lance Stroll to 22-year-old Sergey Sirotkin, with Kubica handed a testing and reserve role with the team.
In addition to vital simulator work, Kubica will also enjoy three FP1 outings this season and will also drive the team's new FW41 at some point during pre-season testing in Barcelona.
"For me this is already a return to Formula 1," he told the Polish sports daily Przeglad Sportowy.
"It's like a second beginning, because I'm back in the same role in which I found myself before my debut in 2006," added Kubica.
While the 33-year-old claims to be happy with his limited involvement, he also admits a bittersweet feeling will likely emerge every time when he walks into the paddock this year.
"I thought about it and to be honest I do not think it will be a nice moment," Kubica said when asked about the forthcoming Australian Grand Prix.
"Being there to see other drivers race will not be nice, but it is also worth trying to come back," he added.
"It will also not be the typical third driver role where you come to the race and do little else. For me the most important is the possibility of driving the current car," said Kubica.
"If I did not have that, I would not have taken this job because it wouldn't have made sense. Only by driving can I have the chance to take the last, most difficult step."
Asked how different he is now compared to the driver he was prior to his serious arm injury in 2011, Kubica answered: "I'm further away now than I was a few months ago!
"But I think the next seven, eight, nine months can bring me closer again. I don't really know how close it was, but it doesn't matter.
"As a rule, I have the habit of believing in things only when they happen. But at one point I was almost convinced that I would be racing in Australia," he admitted.