Robert Kubica says that he's only interested in returning to Formula 1 if he's satisfied that he can be truly competitive.
Kubica is currently favourite to take over Felipe Massa's vacant race seat at Williams in 2018. His last Grand Prix appearance was at the end of 2010, before he was seriously injured in a rallying crash.
It's been a long road back to race fitness for the 32-year-old Pole. A return to the grid would be a real-life fairy tale. However, Kubica insists that he doesn't want to be just a feel-good news story.
"I think there are a lot of people wishing, or would like to see me back because of the story," Kubica admitted.
"I appreciate it because I think there is a lot of hope, there is a lot of wish of a lot of people.
"In the end the story is nice, but there are no discounts for the story," he insisted. "I appreciate it because I think there is a lot of hope. There is a lot of wish of a lot of people.
"But in the end I know how is reality. And the reality is like this: once I'm in the car there is no story anymore, it is me myself with the car, with the team and the job has to be done.
"Formula 1 is a special world. But once you have a helmet everything disappears, so you have to be in a position to deliver."
Williams had planned to make their final decision on who would line up alongside Lance Stroll in 2018 after Kubica took part in this week's end-of-season tyre test in Abu Dhabi.
But reports say that Kubica's performance was inconclusive. His best lap was 1:39.485s, nine tenths slower than Massa managed in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix four days earlier.
The team isn't commenting on how the test went. Instead, it's understood that they want to analyse the data before making a decision.
Other drivers in the running for the race seat include test and development drivers Sergei Sirotkin and Paul di Resta, Mercedes protégé Pascal Wehrlein and ousted Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.
At issue is whether the injuries to his right arm have healed sufficiently to be up to the challenge of a gruelling full F1 season. No one wants to be more certain that he's up to the task than Kubica himself.
"You are talking to the guy who has difficulty being happy even if he was finishing on the podium!" he joked.
"I think it's a bit normal as there are a lot of question marks, and everybody has their own opinion.
"I have to be sure that I am able to do it. For sure, every day is giving me a lot of confidence that things can work out pretty well," he explained. "And for my standard 'pretty well' means it has to be high level.
"In the end I have to make sure if I get the chance I have to be ready," he said. "I have to be as prepared as I can for if something is coming.
"If I coming back I'm not here to just do a number," he added. "I have to make sure although I'm seven years away with my limitations I will be able to provide my best possibilities and be the best Robert Kubica which I know."