Robert Kubica, Renault RS01, 2016

Kubica to return to racing at Spa in Renault series

2016 F1 season

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Robert Kubica will return to circuit racing with Renault next week in his first outing for the manufacturer since his 2011 rally crash.

Robert Kubica, Renault RS01, 2016
Kubica has already tested the RS01
Kubica will compete in round five of the Renault Sport Trophy driving an RS01 run by Duqueine Engineering on September 24th-25th.

Each round consists of three races: one each for the car’s professional and amateur drivers, plus a longer endurance race in which the two take turns at the wheel. Kubica’s team mate will be Christophe Hamon.

Kubica, who last raced in F1 with Renault in 2010, has already tested the car at the Ales circuit in France. “I quickly felt at ease at the wheel of the RS01,” he said, “and even on a twisty track like Ales its qualities were immediately evident, especially the stopping power granted by the carbon discs.”

“I was impressed by how late into the corner you can brake and by the absence of body roll, even when you push to make the most of the available grip. I look forward to driving it at Spa, where all the downforce the car can generate will also come into play.”

The RS01 car is closely based on the chassis used in the Formula V8 3.5 championship, formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5. Kubica won the series in 2005 prior to making his F1 debut, which peaked with victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix for BMW.

His left arm was almost severed in his 2011 crash while driving a rally car. Following his recuperation he won the 2013 WRC-2 championship and competed in the WRC. However he left the championship at the beginning of the year due to a lack of funds after crashing out of the Monte Carlo rally.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Kubica to return to racing at Spa in Renault series”

    1. Saw a clip of him overtaking at Singapore on the official F1 website. A big miss for the sport. I think Lewis it was who said he was the only one he feared.

      1. If he wouldn’t have had that crash, imagine him in Heidfelds seat in 2011 and then replacing Massa at Ferrari for 2012. That’s one of the most intriguing ‘what-ifs’ from the past few years I think.

        1. Sports full of them and you cannot say for sure but yes you can imagine him part of the top tier (Alonso, Lewis, Vettel)

        2. Yes, if he only hadn’t tried to be a rally driver (which he isn’t that great at, as we’ve seen on the WRC)

          1. I disagree bobec. People often underestimate the challenge of transferring from circuit racing to rallying. Nominally they’re both considered parts of motorsports, but actually these are 2 completely different sports. Nobody IIRC has ever succeeded (at least in modern era) to make a successful transfer. Of those who tried, and many were circuit racing aces(for example Raikkonen and Sarrazin), Kubica came by fa the closest to success, and after grievous injury at that. He’d won WRC2. He’d won raliies in the IRC and regional level. And I’m sure, given time, funds and the pace he’d showed so far, he’d be a WRC winner as well

            1. Maybe he would have been, maybe not. I just think circuit racing was his thing and he showed some impressive performance in Formula 1. For whatever reason, he never got to that same level in rallying. I still wish he never tried rallying. I’m not trying to bash Kubica, he was at one point one of my favorite racing drivers that were racing at the time!

          2. He isn’t that great a rally driver? Hmm, he he led practically ever ERC event he entered, won WRC2 easily with only one year rally experience, and won 14 WRC stages in a privateer ford… Yep, you sure know what you are talking about. And dont compare 20 years road racing experience to 3 years rallying experience (with a disability add you)

            1. Big Kubica fan, but he wasn’t a good rally driver, fast yes, but crashed far too often

            2. @kpcart @damon Doesn’t compare. In F1 he could have won more races and even a championship. Yes, he was racing for a privateer in WRC, but if he was that amazing as you claim, why wasn’t he taken by one of the leading teams? Again, it’s all about the level. WRC is the top level for rallying, just as F1 is the top level formula. He was good in F1 and terrible in WRC. Sorry. The other rally series are nowhere near as competitive and you know it.

          3. “which he isn’t that great at”
            WHAT?? A WRC-2 World Champion, has won 14 WRC stages in a non manufacture team car – and that with one healthy hand. Yeah, right, he’s ‘not that great’…

      2. spot on with that…I have to say my interest has waned since he left.

    2. Would still love to see him back in F1, this guy had some potential. Don’t know if he is physically able, would be great if Renault gave him a chance. Kubica and Ocon would be a great line-up.

      Next year there are more seats than good drivers with Button, Massa out and, Kvyat, Palmer, Magnussen, Gutierrez and Nasr on the edge of their last F1 season. That’s 7 drivers out, in exchange for Vandoorne, Gasly (?), Stroll and perhaps Rossi. Who else is going to drive F1?

      My guess:

      Ferrari: Vettel – Raikkonen
      Mercedes: Hamilton – Rosberg
      Red Bull: Ricciardo – Verstappen
      McLaren: Alonso/Button – Vandoorne (would not be surprised if Alonso drops out after 2017 winter tests)
      Williams: Bottas – Wehrlein
      Force India: Perez – Hulkenberg
      STR: Sainz – Gasly
      Haas: Grosjean – Rossi
      Renault: Ocon – Sirotkin
      Manor: Stroll – King
      Sauber: Ericsson – Giovinazzi

      1. I think it will be Perez and Ocon at Renault, and maybe a Magnussen vs Hulkenberg line up at Force India.

        Agree about Alonso dropping out from Mclaren.. I’d say there is a 50/50 chance that Alonso might just drive the Mclaren truck around the Circuit de Catalunya a couple of times and then call it a day.

      2. Unfortunately, Kubica can’t ever drive an F1 car again. He has lost the necessary range of motion in one of his arms.

      3. “Who else is going to drive F1?”

        Well, it’s a shame some have already forgotten about Frijns…
        Leclerc would be a good shout too, on course to take a rookie GP3 title.

        Rossi? Think his F1 ship has sailed tbh.

    3. I’d like to see him drive an F1 car again, even if it’s a demo run up the hill at Goodwood or a run out in a filming day, even a one off practice back at Renault F1

    4. Good luck to him. Hope to see Kubica in a higher level series before long

    5. It would be great to see Kubica in the WEC- and even do an F1 test drive again. And I really do hope that Renault make a road-legal version of that car.

    6. Well let’s see how he does at spa this weekend driving for Renault I hope this determines how good he is and if he still can go back to F1 I really wish you luck he always needed more of it

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