TJ13 reported a number of days ago that Renault are seriously considering swopping out a junior driver for Robert Kubica for the up and coming mid-season test after the Hungarian GP on August 1st & 2nd.
It has now emerged why Renault are even considering such a move. Back in June, Kubica had a qualifying and racing simulation with a 2012 Lotus E20 Renault on the Valencia circuit, about 310 kilometers. On July 11th, a test on the Paul Ricard circuit followed, this time the pole totalled about 500 km.
Sources within the team have now revealed that the Pole has recorded lap times in the simulator quicker than their current driver line up of Nico Hulkenberg and Joylon Palmer. It is for this reason that Renault will be letting Kubica take part in the mid-season test at the Hungaroring in August and if all goes well then he will take the place of Palmer who has zero points thus far.
“Now I know that I can once again be the driver I was before. My level in 2010 was high without being unnecessarily modest and in Valencia I realised that I had the passion like before…. I had recovered it since the 2011 accident,” said Kubica. “Turning corners is different but it is a case of work and if others can do it then there is no reason why I cannot,”
“His comeback will be one of the best pieces of news this year, Robert is the best,” said Fernando Alonso about the best friend
It’s all about how quick the Polish driver will be in a 2017 car. There are still question marks about how well he’d go in a formula designed to tax the physical aspects of driving. The injury sustained by Kubica is shocking to say the least but Renault are confident the adaptions to their car will make it possible for Kubica to drive competitively. That along with the fact that he’s prepared himself together with the former cyclist Alessandro Petacchi, Robert describes himself as being in the best physical condition than ever before.
The 32-year-old Pole had suffered a severe arm injury during a rally in February 2011. Shortly before, he had topped the time-sheets with Renault during winter testing. Kubica was considered an up and coming world champion, Fernando Alonso wanted to bring him to Ferrari just prior to the accident.
It appears the Pole has shown that he can last a whole race and needs to demonstrate that he can record a better time than Palmer in Hungaroring.