After having tested various types of racing cars such as GP3 and Formula E in order to suss out an opportunity to return to single seater racing, Robert Kubica whose F1 career was halted by a rally injury in 2011, tested a 2012 spec Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia last week.
Photo : Renault F1
It was a closed private test and the motorsport community has been eager to know what lap times Kubica managed and what his pace was like, Renault’s trackside operations director Alan Permane has said that the pace is definitely there, but the 115 laps of mileage Kubica produced was a bigger revelation.
“I had no doubts on his pace, ever, at all”, said Permane talking to Polish media outlet Eleven Sports, “I did not know, and I don’t think he knew, whether he would be able to drive physically – and, more than that, be able to drive a lot.”
“He was quick. He did some long runs, he did some short runs, he did qualifying, we did race simulations, and it all went really well.
“He’s driven some things. He’s driven simulators, he’s driven a GP3 car earlier this year in preparation for this, but we didn’t really know what his limitations would be. And, honestly, it went very well.”
When asked about what this performance means for Kubica’s possible F1 return, Permane said : “From what I’ve seen from the statistics, from the data, the pace is there. That’s for sure.
“All I would say is on that Tuesday in Valencia, he did a fantastic job. There are many other circuits, and whether he has physical limitations on those, only he knows at the moment. If it needs to go any further, that would be the next step.”
Feature image : Renault F1
– Aditya Bhat.