Ferrari “were keeping an eye” on Kubica

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the team did look into hiring Robert Kubica if the former Renault driver’s injuries had healed sufficiently for him to be able to race in F1.

Kubica hasn’t raced in F1 since suffering severe injuries in a crash during a rally in February 2011.

Domenicali said: “Yes, we were keeping an eye on him.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t think he will be back, because with his physical problem, he would struggle in certain limited situations which require reactivity. It’s a shame.”

He added the team were working to bring new Italian drivers into F1, as the country has not been represented since last year.

“With Antonio Fuoco and Raffaele Marciello, in whom we are investing, this year we have won two championships,” said Domenicali. “Will they drive a Ferrari one day? I hope so. But we need to find the right categories to get there.”

Domenicali also defended the decision to retain the under-performing Felipe Massa for the past four seasons, and denied his 2009 crash had been the cause of his struggles.

“From a medical point of view, there is no proof that the accident left any permanent damage, such as problems with his sight or reflexes. And then there’s the gentility which would demand that we give a driver who hasn’t had much luck, the chance to show he deserves to stay with us.

“If Felipe was unable to deliver the performance we hoped for, it was mainly down to a hyper-sensitivity to a car that was too nervous at the rear, but in 2008, he almost took the title and I consider him as a world champion.”