"I won't ask everyone to applaud".
The 34-year-old's injuries mean he can not grip a steering wheel in the conventional way with his right hand, on which his fingers do not fully close, and certain controls for the auto have to be re-sited as a result. Williams has modified his vehicle this year to cater for his predominantly left-handed steering.
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 extensive surgery, Kubica returned to motorsport in 2012 and enjoyed some success in the World Rally Championship before returning to F1 as a reserve driver for Williams a year ago.
"Emotions? To be honest, I've not really had a lot of time to think about them", he told reporters at Albert Park on Thursday.
"It has been a long time away from the sport". You are focused on the job, focused on the things to do.
"Things have changed quite a lot since I was racing here last time".
Williams have had a chaotic preparation for the s Australian Grand Prix, with technical director Paddy Lowe taking "a leave of absence" after they failed to finish their new vehicle in time for the start of testing in Barcelona and turned up two days late.
Robert Kubica welcomed with applause by fellow drivers upon long awaited return to F1
"I had a bit longer than the others!" the Polish driver chimed in.
It was soon after that when Ricciardo switched gears from talking about sharks and Crocodile Dundee to address the courageous comeback by the man sitting to his left.
Kubica remarked ruefully that it would probably not help Williams much. He knows getting the drive is just one of the hurdles he'll encounter this season.
'We didn't have a flawless start to winter testing so there are a lot of things to be checked to see how they will be.
"There is no point of wasting energy and time and thinking of hard moments, we just need to do our job".
It'll certainly be each to spot who's who in the Renault cars this season and we're sure fans will be grateful for that!
After the physical and emotional pain he's endured in the eight seasons between his F1 races, it's highly unlikely Kubica will be wasting any opportunities after the season starts Sunday.