Former Formula 1 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 that Kubica's return from life-altering injuries to F1 was the "wrong message" for the sport to send out.
Villeneuve was quoted by Formule 1: "I think it's terrible. This is not good for the sport. "I already said that last year and I am not going to change my opinion.
"Formula 1 should be the pinnacle of racing, it's the king class. So it is not good for the sport if someone with a disability, because that's what it is, can participate.
"At least not in Formula 1, perhaps in other classes. Formula 1 must be difficult and almost unreachable. Robert's return is not the right message."
Di Grassi, who raced for the Virgin team in 2010, competed against Kubica extensively in their junior careers and called Villeneuve's comments "absurd".
"A person can never be defined by his disability, rather he should be defined by his performance," the Brazilian, Formula E champion in 2017, posted on Twitter.
Tipo de comentário absurdo completo. Uma pessoa jamais pode ser definida por sua “deficiência” mas sim sua performance. Kubica é um exemplo de recuperação e sua história é incrível. Porém no final do ano os resultados falarão por si só. https://t.co/YMgKXsRDhY— LUCAS DI GRASSI (@LucasdiGrassi) March 26, 2019
"Kubica is an example of recovery and his story is incredible. At the end of the year the results will speak for themselves."
Dutch racing driver Tom Coronel, however, is quoted by Formule 1 as saying of Kubica: "He is good, but not good enough for Formula 1."