WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s sports minister has said the return of Robert Kubica to Formula One after an eight-year break because of injuries shows that “in sports, you must fight to the very end.”

Kubica, of Poland, made his return Sunday at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with Williams. He was the last of 17 drivers who finished but was content to complete his first drive back in F1 since 2010. He missed eight seasons after injuring his right arm in a rallying crash in February 2011.

Minister Witold Banka said Monday he “will always be with him regardless of how he drives because his is a truly beautiful story.”

A former relay runner with a bronze medal from the 2007 World Championships, Banka said he is cheering for Kubica, who “believed he will succeed and achieved it.”

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