Robert Kubica to test RS17 in Hungary

hayley stanwayThere has been a lot of buzz about whether or not Renault will run Kubica in the test in Hungary.

In June, Kubica took part in a private test for the team in Portugal, where he used the 2012 car to do race and qualifying simulations. He managed to complete 115 laps and Renault were very satisfied with the performance, saying that his feedback was as good as it had ever been and he responded well to setup changes. Rumour was that he was faster than official test driver Sergey Sirotkin and, after the test, Kubica was also pleased with his performance and comfortable in the car.

He then took part in further testing, in the same car, with Renault admitting that the purpose was to evaluate the possibility of him making a return to the sport in a competitive capacity. Very little detail was released about the test, however Renault did confirm afterwards that they were considering running Kubica in the up coming in season test at the Hungaroring, in early August.

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Kubica will drive the current-spec RS17 at the Hungaroring. (Pic: Renault F1)

The decision was complicated by the fact that to run him would deprive one of their full time drivers the opportunity of participating in the test.

The rules state that experienced drivers can only participate in half of the test days, with the other half given over to juniors. With Hülkenberg having already participated in the test in Bahrain earlier this season, there is only one day left for Jolyon Palmer to go testing.

In an announcement this morning, Renault confirmed that they have decided to use that day to further evaluate Kubica’s potential for a return and he will drive for the team on the second day of the test, on August 2nd.

In that statement, Renault F1’s Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul said “The first two days of testing allowed both Robert and ourselves to gather a great amount of information. The upcoming session with the RS17 at the Hungaroring will allow us all to obtain detailed and precise data in a current car and representative conditions.”

“After this test, we will carefully analyse the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years.”

Kubica’s long absence from the sport resulted from an injury sustained during a rally accident in Italy in 2011. His arm was partially severed leaving him with extensive nerve and muscle damage that drastically restricted his range of motion.

After intense physio to regain mobility in the arm, he has slowly made a return to motorsport, competing in different rally series and testing single seaters, but has made no secret about his ambition to return to Formula 1 after what was looking to be a very promising career was cut short.

If ever you needed a reason to follow testing, this has to be it! All eyes on Renault now!

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