Amidst doubts over Jolyon Palmer’s performances and subsequent future with the Renault F1 Team, rumours started floating around the F1 community that the old guard Robert Kubica who recently tested a Lotus-Renault car would replace Palmer at FP1 sessions at this year’s Italian GP and a few others.
However, at the start of this weekend’s Azerbaijan GP, MD of Renault F1 Cyril Abiteboul has come out and rubbished these rumours.
Photo : XPB Images
“No, absolutely not”, Abiteboul confirmed. “I don’t know where this is coming from and I can completely wipe that one out”.
“Robert [Kubica] has been a family member of the Enstone team, and Eric [Boullier] on my right knows what I mean”, said Abiteboul at the FIA press conference. “The team in Enstone, which is a very small group of people, actually have been very loyal to a number of drivers.
“In particular, Robert made a huge impression on people who’ve been around, Alan Permane, Bob Bell, Ricardo Penteado on the Viry side.
“People feel very loyal and feel they owe something to Robert for making something big in their life and there was this opportunity that we give to him, that we could afford to him to drive again, because it was actually a marketing event that got cancelled, so we had a car available at the track and we offered that opportunity to him.”
Photo : Renault F1
Talking about the process Kubica is going through for a possible return to F1, Abiteboul said : “Robert is going through some form of programme to try to understand what he can do. He has been driving a number of cars, Formula E, GP3, LMP2, F2, you name it, so I think he wants to understand what he can do as part of his sort of rehabilitation programme. We’ll see.
“There is nothing else that is planned for the time being, apart from a marketing event at Goodwood where he will be driving the same car, E20, in front of Lord March’s house.”
Feature image : Renault F1
– Aditya Bhat.