Monza: Poland's Robert Kubica is still hoping to return to Formula One, a year and a half on from a near-fatal rally accident, after getting back behind the wheel of a rally car in Italy.

The former Renault driver, now out of contract after missing all of last season following his crash in February last year and enduring repeated surgery, said.

"Being here is already a good step, but I would have preferred to be somewhere else," the 27-year-old said of his participation in a Subaru in the Rally Ronde Gomitolo di Lana event on the weekend of the Italian Grand Prix.

"I have still got a long road to travel and will probably never be at the same physical level as before," added the Pole. "But I don't intend to give up.

"The aim remains to return to Formula One and the next few months will tell me whether I can do it next year already or will have to wait until 2014."

Kubica, who suffered severe arm and leg injuries in the 2011 accident, was a race winner with BMW-Sauber and Renault's lead driver. He had been linked to Ferrari before the crash as a possible replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari's championship leader, is one of his best friends in the Formula One paddock.

Renault team boss Eric Boullier said this week that his team now had little contact with the Pole.

"I did read in the press, like you, that he was doing some rallying and actually he's supposed to do a rally next weekend or something like this, but we don't have much contact," said the Frenchman.

"I have contact with his management but nothing else. I've not been updated about his current state for a long time."


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