Robert Kubica had a deal to race for Ferrari in 2012

Robert Kubica has revealed he had a deal signed to drive for Ferrari in 2012 before he suffered life-changing injuries in a rally accident in 2011.

After seven years away from F1, the Polish driver has returned to the paddock as a test driver with Williams this year and still harbours ambitions of racing in 2019.

Before his accident Kubica was driving for the Lotus Renault team in F1 but had secured a deal to move to Ferrari the following season. In an hour-long interview on F1's official podcast Beyond the Grid, he revealed that the rally in which he suffered his injuries would have been his last as his new Ferrari contract, agreed with team principal Stefano Domenicali, did not allow him to race outside of F1.

"The fact is this was the last rally I was doing in my life because I knew the team I was driving for next year would not allow me to rally," he said. "So in the end it was strange circumstances that I was offered that rally, because the [rally] team felt guilty at previous rallies because I had so many failures with the car they offered it to me.

"I remember I woke up in Valencia where we were testing [for F1] and I said I didn't want to go to this rally. I called the guy and he was so happy that he had organised everything that I didn't want to tell him that I didn't want to go."

Kubica suffered severe injuries to his right arm and had to undergo numerous surgeries to regain limited mobility in his wrist. He said his recovery was difficult from a mental point of view, but it is only now that he has thought about what might have been with Ferrari.

"The first goal is to enter F1, the second is to become established in F1, so you have good value, a good reputation, which is more difficult than to enter, and third, you want to win a world championship or become a Ferrari driver. I haven't won a world championship, and in the end I haven't become a Ferrari driver but I was very close."

"My recovery was so hard in itself that for the first 16-18 months it didn't hurt [missing out on the Ferrari drive] because 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 moved back six months instead of improving. They were really hard moments that used 100 percent of yourself, so you don't have time to think I could be in that car.

"When I was watching Formula One I was missing racing, I never saw it as though I could be in that car. It was more missing what was your life. In the end it was painful but it was not more painful because I knew I was going to race for Ferrari. But now it is additional pain."