Robert Kubica's return to Formula One after suffering severe injuries in a crash eight years ago has been praised by rival Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the 2019 season.
Kubica was forging a reputation for himself after impressive seasons with Sauber and Renault before an accident while taking part in a rally in Andorra in 2011, the Pole damaging his arms and legs in the crash.
After racing in the World Rally Championship, Kubica began testing for Renault in 2017 and was a contender for a Williams drive last season.
Williams opted for Lance Stroll instead but, with the Canadian moving on to Racing Point for 2019, Kubica was handed his chance.
And Ricciardo is delighted to see the 34-year-old back on the grid after overcoming such adversity.
Speaking at Thursday's pre-race media conference in Melbourne, Ricciardo said: "Robert mentioned that he's had a pretty long winter break.
"I don't think we all know to the extent of what he's been through to get back here, so I just think it's awesome to see him back.
"I've known him from when I moved to Europe back in 2007 which feels like a long time but yes, just a testament to his character and I won't ask for everyone to applaud but I really think it's awesome for him to be here. We can applaud, yes."
The media room – including fellow drivers Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen – duly joined Ricciardo in applauding Kubica, who admitted he has no time to dwell on the emotional aspect of his return given Williams' pre-season problems.
"Yes, it has been a long time, a long time away from the sport," he said.
"Emotions… to be honest there is not really a lot of time to think about them, you are focused on the job, focused on the things to do. Try to learn as much as you can about new F1.
"Things have changed quite a lot since I was racing here last time. Just trying to prepare; trying to be ready.
"We didn't have the perfect start to winter testing, so there are a lot of things to be checked, to see how they will be and yes, let's see."
|SpongeBob, WWE & dancing in the mirror - The best of retiring Gronkowski´s quotes|
|Neymar in PSG contract talks, says father|
|Schalke and USA midfielder McKennie ruptures ankle ligament|
|Thailand 0 Uruguay 4: Vecino helps seal China Cup title|
|Alisson missing Brazil but feels at home at Liverpool|
|Charnley called up to England performance squad|
|Kante focused on Chelsea amid Madrid links|
|Mourinho: Zidane the right man for Real Madrid|
|Skerritt elected president of Cricket West Indies|
|Nike bow out with patchwork Manchester City ´celebration´ shirt|
|Alli believes England can be the best in the world|
|Curry: Surreal that Warriors have won 50 games again|
|LeBron won´t ´cheat the game´ even with Lakers out of playoff contention|
|Inter play better with Lautaro, says Pirlo|
|Zorc knows nothing of United interest in Sancho|
|Not in a million years! - Hornets´ Lamb in disbelief over game-winner|
|Sterling has qualities to be England captain - Southgate|
|Morocco frustrated by Messi´s friendly absence|
|The Australia ball-tampering scandal one year on: Have the batsmen filled the Smith-Warner void?|
|Giants owner: Beckham trade left grandsons crying|
|McGee explains Lakers´ mentality after playoff elimination|
|Emotional Trout addresses Angels team-mates, fans for first time since signing extension|
|Peterson retires after loss to Lipinets|
|Kyrgios continues Miami run, Djokovic battles through|
|Kyrgios produces two underarm serves in Lajovic thrashing|
|Aldridge powers Spurs over Celtics to continue hot streak|
|Leading tight end and Super Bowl star – the numbers behind Gronkowski´s greatness|
|Stephens´ struggles continue as Halep, Pliskova reach last 16|
|Duke´s Williamson discusses win over UCF, matchup with Fall|
|Low ´very satisfied´ after win over Netherlands|
|WATCH: Hornets´ Lamb hits incredible game-winner from beyond half-court|
|Belichick praises Gronkowski: He was a major reason why we won championships|
|Taumalolo out for up to 10 weeks in blow to Cowboys|
|Keselowski dominates field, secures STP 500 win|
|Duke hold off UCF in thriller|
|O´Sullivan returns to world number one after nine years|
|NFL players congratulate Gronkowski after retirement announcement|
|Koeman accepts responsibility for Germany loss|
|Djokovic overcomes Delbonis in Miami|
|Southgate: Sancho, Alli, Henderson doubts for Montenegro-England|
|Gronkowski the GOAT – Brady reacts to Patriots star´s retirement|
|Toulouse beat La Rochelle to extend lead, Racing see off Bordeaux|
|Martinez commends ´mature´ Belgium display against Cyprus|
|Casey retains Valspar Championship|
|De Ligt: Netherlands were scared to attack Germany|
|Matchwinner Magennis hails Northern Ireland´s team spirit|
|Germany still have work to do despite dramatic Dutch win, says Low|
|New England Revolution 0 FC Cincinnati 2: Saief-inspired visitors up to second|
|Steelers GM says Roethlisberger deal will ´probably´ be his last|
|Patriots star Gronkowski retires|
|Northern Ireland 2 Belarus 1: Magennis sends O´Neill´s men top of Group C|
|Netherlands 2 Germany 3: Late Schulz strike settles Group C classic|
|Cyprus 0 Belgium 2: Hazard marks 100th cap with a goal in easy win|
|Dislocated shoulder rules Richardson out of Australia-Pakistan ODI series|
|Maradona slams players and ´inept´ AFA president Tapia after Venezuela defeat|
|Deschamps not worried about latest Coman injury|
|He makes others play well – Southgate salutes Henderson ahead of 50th cap|
|Pant masterclass gets new Delhi era off to winning start|
|Finch hits another century as Australia win second ODI|
|San Marino 0 Scotland 2: McLean and Russell earn Group I spoils|
|Hazard set to win 100th Belgium cap|
|England have no weaknesses, says Montenegro coach|
|Williams hat-trick provides welcome boost for Wigan|
|Pretorius promotion pays off as Proteas stay perfect|
|Clinical Exeter beat Bath to seal play-off spot|
|Giggs hails blend of youth and experience|
|Pochettino ´nearly crying´ at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opening|
|France winger Coman ruled out of Iceland clash|
|Ramos was kind, not dirty or rough - King|
|Wales 1 Slovakia 0: James hits winner as Giggs´ men start brightly|