Kubica will start Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in a Williams, eight years on since his life-changing rally crash. In the press conference ahead of the race, Ricciardo paid tribute to the work Kubica has done.
"I don't think we all know the extent of what he has been through to get back here. It is a testament to his character, but it's awesome to see him back," Ricciardo said.
"It is a testament to his character but it's awesome to see him back."
Kubica has one Grand Prix victory to his name. He won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix and could have raced for Ferrari soon after.
The injuries picked up in the crash mean Kubica has had to alter his driving style. Ahead of what's expected to be an emotional weekend, he says he needs to stay focused on the job.
"It has been a long time away from the sport. Not really a lot of time to think about the emotions. You are focused on the job and learn as much as you can about the new F1 and trying to be ready," he told the BBC.