Robert Kubica’s once unlikely return to Formula 1 has just become a step closer to becoming reality as Renault confirm they are granting him another test to assess if he has what it takes to make a comeback.
Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul said, “While the first day of testing at Valencia was no more than to let Robert get reacquainted with the feel of driving again, this second test will be to assess his capabilities to return to the highest level of competition.”
“This is a new phase in his personal and professional journey and we are proud to support him. There are still many hurdles for him to overcome, and he knows better than anyone else that only his performance will determine if he can one day return to being a professional driver,” added Abiteboul.
Kubica told BBC at Goodwood last weekend, “I know I can do pretty well behind the wheel of an F1 car already after one day of testing. So more can come from me. It is a good feeling. It is something I was not expecting, to deliver so well straight away.
“This gives me, not confidence, because I knew as a driver that the skills are there, but a relief that can do it physically, that I can make the job.”
“I still know there is a long way to go and I need to do it step by step. If I have an opportunity, I will try to do my best. If not, I will search for something else. It has been a long time away from the circuit.”
“When you get to an F1 car and after one lap you see the pace is there, it is special emotions and I miss it so much. I am enjoying the moment because I have been through difficult days – but I could never believe I could be in this position four or five months ago,” admitted Kubica.
Renault have maintained contact with the Pole since his impressive test in a 2012 Renault F1 car at Valencia in June. But has yet to drive a 2017-spec car, which is faster and more physical.
BBC reports that qquestions remain regarding his ability to operate an F1 car in all corners – with tight left-handers the main concern because of the restricted movement in his right arm.
Kubica’s second Renault F1 test is expected to be at Paul Ricard on a date yet to be decided, and at a time when Jolyon Palmer’s future with the team is increasingly uncertain.