Renault Sport Thinks Robert Kubica Is Fast Enough For Formula One Return
Robert Kubica's future is looking bright once again.
Earlier this month, we reported on Kubica's Formula One test with Renault, using the 2012 Lotus E20. Some chalked the event up as nothing more than a sentimental PR stunt for the sake of a fan favorite driver, but the information that has surfaced since suggests something much more serious. Kubica's test run totaled 115 laps and included a variety of tests—from practice starts to heavy fuel runs and qualifying simulations.
Trackside Director Alan Permane said that a minimal modification to the steering wheel was required to accommodate for Kubica's physical limitations.
Renault says that the plan was kept under wraps, so as not to cause a "media storm," out of respect for Kubica.
The team also said that it has little in the way of further plans for Kubica, though testing in the current simulator is not an impossibility. Renault's coyness regarding Kubica's future with the team, combined with its continued praise for his abilities in spite of his injuries and their desire to replace ailing driver Jolyon Palmer have left few believing the official story. Similar to how parents might not believe their children saying "just friends" when they start having a member of the opposite sex over as company.
A story has already come out that rebuts Renault's own statement about no plans being made. French F1 site L'Equipe has announced that Kubica will be driving the E20 at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of an exhibition drive. Former Mercedes driver and world champion Nico Rosberg will also be present, driving the Mercedes W05, his 2014 car. Though this upcoming event is more of a PR event than the 115 lap test was, it does nothing to play down the continually re-escalating Renault-Kubica relationship.
Might we expect a happy announcement in the next few weeks, Renault?