Robert Kubica's says his new steering wheel method is like holding a bird

Robert Kubica has likened the way he now has to operate a Formula One steering wheel to holding a bird without hurting it or letting it fly away.

Williams reserve Kubica returned to the cockpit during the Spanish Grand Prix, where he deputised for Sergey Sirotkin in first practice, and in one of the post-race test days this week. The Polish driver, who nearly lost his right arm the 2011 rallying crash which prematurely ended his F1 career, is still hopeful of landing a full-time seat at a team in future.

The question of Kubica's physical limitations has been a popular topic since he first returned to an F1 cockpit for Renault in Hungary last year. Onboard shots of his FP1 appearance showed a slight difference in the way he held either side of the steering wheel and he has explained how he has learned to drive around his injury.

"I drive like my body and what my limitations allow me," Kubica said during the weekend. "After my accident, I discovered to do a roundabout in a road car, you don't have to grab steering wheel. You can use friction to turn.

"F1 is not a roadcar. But I have also been in the school where they give you a bird in the hand and you have to hold it so it doesn't fly away but you can't hold it too tight that it gets scared. This is the way you have to hold the steering wheel."

Kubica admitted Williams' erratic 2018 car made it difficult to enjoy his first official F1 session in eight years on Friday. He is slated for two more practice appearances this season, in Austria and Abu Dhabi, but he is still longing for the thrill of a full-time drive.

"I miss competition. For me, competition is not FP1 or testing but being on the grid on Sunday. I miss it but when you are away for a long time, you get used to it and you don't have to think about it."

At the start of the season, Williams released onboard footage of Kubica driving at the team's filming day at Spain's Aragon circuit. The difference in grip on either side of the steering wheel is clear to see.