Robert Kubica has reminded Sebastian Vettel of their similar age after the German’s suggestion that he was stealing places on the grid from young drivers.
Kubica will return to Formula 1 for 2019, signalling a miracle comeback after his rally horror-crash in 2011.
The Polish driver was left with a partially-severed right forearm while competing in the Ronde di Andora rally.
Kubica began his Formula 1 career in 2006 with BMW Sauber, where he went on to claim his one and only race victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
Vettel, 31, however, claimed earlier in the week that he held mixed feelings over Kubica’s return.
Speaking to Blick, he said: “On the one hand, it pleases me personally. No one can ever imagine how hard it was for him and what he went through.
“On the other hand, there are also young drivers who deserve a chance.”
Responding to the German’s comments, Kubica, recently turned 34, claims he understands not everybody will be pleased to see him return, and that Vettel’s words are somewhat hypocritical.
“Everyone has their own opinion,” Kubica told Polish radio station RMF FM.
“Not everyone has to be happy that I am coming back. Certainly when it comes to other drivers, it’s normal that the competition is big.
“You also can’t really say that Vettel is a lot younger than me. On the other hand, there are a lot of young drivers who are entering F1. My team-mate for example.”