While rumored for many years, Robert Kubica has revealed that he was on his way to Ferrari in 2012 when his rally accident shattered his dreams and cut his F1 career short.
Hailed as an outstanding talent, and the best driver in the F1 paddock according to his good friend and 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, the Pole attempted a sensational comeback to the sport after a six-year absence, but ultimately accepted a development role with Williams for this year.
Speaking with Formula 1's Tom Clarkson in a recent podcast, Kubica said that at the time of his rally accident, his career in F1 was destined for a very big change.
"The biggest thing was that that rally was actually going to be my last one, as the team I was going to drive for in 2012 wouldn’t have let me rally."
Clarkson asked if the team in question happened to be Ferrari?
"Yes, it was a red team," said Kubica
"I don’t know if Fernando knew. I would have been paid less than at Renault."
As he focused on his recovery in the months and years following his horrific accident, missing out on the chance to drive for the Scuderia did not occupy his thoughts. Eventually however, the pain crept in, and still lingers.
"I haven’t become a Ferrari driver, but I came so close," said the 33-year-old.
"My recovery was so hard that for the first 18 months, this didn’t hurt because I was concentrating on my injuries and recovery.
"The more time passes, the more difficult this became. There were hard moments where recovery and surgeries took 100 per cent of me, but I missed Formula 1.
"Recovery was painful but it was not made more painful by knowing I should have been in the Ferrari. It’s more painful now."