- Robert Kubica's Formula One return with Renault has been delayed
- Renault had been hoping the Polish driver would be fit for the start of the 2012 season
- But Kubica has not fully recovered from serious arm injuries sustained in a rally crash
Lotus Renault driver Robert Kubica has confirmed that he will not be fit in time for the start of the 2012 Formula One season.
The 26-year-old Pole, winner of the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, missed the whole of this season after suffering serious injuries following a rallying crash in February.
There had been some hope that Kubica would be fit enough to start the new campaign, but he released a statement on the team's official website confirming this would not be the case.
Kubica said: "I have come to the conclusion that I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season. This was a difficult decision to make, but it is the most reasonable one.
"I know that Lotus Renault need to prepare for next year, and further extending deadlines would not have been the right thing to do. On a personal level, my recovery is very encouraging and my doctors keep being impressed."
Kubica added: "I just need more time, as I want to be 100% ready before I commit to anything driving related."
Team principal Eric Boullier also released a statement, saying: "Everybody in the team is, of course, very disappointed. Robert not driving in Australia at the start of next season is not what we were all hoping for.
"However, he has taken a very mature decision, acting in the best interests of Lotus Renault GP. As a team and as a family, we remain 100% behind him and we'll help as much as we can."
Kubica suffered a partial amputation of his forearm and compound fractures to his right elbow, shoulder and leg in the accident in Andorra last February.
He subsequently had three operations and has undergone a lengthy period of rehabilitation but has so far not driven a car.
Kubica's decision leaves the team with a choice of three drivers to fill its two seats, Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean, unless they look outside their current line-up.