Robert Kubica has given the strongest indication yet he will return to Formula One over five years after begin injured in a rally crash.
The former Renault driver told Auto Express he previously put his chances of an F1 return at “10 or maximum 20 percent”.
Asked for his view now on the likelihood of it happening now, Kubica said “because I’m very realistic, and I’m keeping my feet on the ground, I’d put it at 80 or 90 percent.”
Kubica drove an F1 car for the first time since his 2011 crash when he tested for Renault at Valencia last month. He also drove one of the team’s cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend.
He said he was stunned by how positive his test has been. “I was shocked, to be honest,” said Kubica. “It was really, really impressive, feeling-wise.”
“I’m not talking about pace there – a few tenths here, a few tenths there – but the feeling and the impression I had, straight away, were amazing.”
“You build up your own question marks, based on how you know yourself and your body,” he explained, “and then if you’d asked me about them after even the first run at Valencia, they were gone, gone, gone, gone.”
“Once my comfort, or let’s say limitation things, were gone in three laps, I could concentrate on trying to get back to the proper rhythm,” Kubica added. “I’m surprised how it felt.”
“It felt for me like I hadn’t driven for one month, not six years.”
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year