UPDATE (GMM) A friend and former colleague of Robert Kubica has hit out at claims the Pole should not be in F1.
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has enraged Kubica's fans by suggesting the pinnacle of motor sport is no place for a driver with a "disability".
Lucas di Grassi, a former F1 driver, said the Canadian's comments were "absurd".
Also defending Kubica is Dario Katta, who according to sport.pl sponsored the now Williams driver when he contested a 24 hour race in Adria in 2016.
"Why is Jacques Villeneuve saying this? It goes back to 2006, when Robert Kubica was much faster in a test and took his place at BMW Sauber," he said.
Indeed, Villeneuve's final race in F1 was the 2006 German GP, and he was replaced at the following race by Kubica, who had been the third BMW driver.
03/27/19 (GMM) Former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi has slammed Jacques Villeneuve over comments about Robert Kubica's return to the sport.
The always-outspoken 1997 world champion Villeneuve said it is "terrible" that "someone with a disability" can race at "the pinnacle of racing".
Di Grassi, who raced for the Virgin team in 2010, called Villeneuve's comments "absurd".
"A person can never be defined by his disability, rather he should be defined by his performance," said the Brazilian.
"Kubica is an example of recovery with an incredible history," di Grassi added. "At the end of the year the results will speak for themselves."
Dutch racing driver Tom Coronel, however, is quoted by the Formule 1 publication as saying about Kubica: "He is good, but not good enough for formula one".