Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2017

Renault confirm Kubica will test for them again to judge if he can return

2017 F1 season

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Renault has confirmed Robert Kubica will have a second test for the team to judge whether he is ready to make his return to F1.

Kubica, who was seriously injured in a rally crash in February 2011, made his testing return for the team last month. He will use the same car again, an E20 chassis from 2012, and will drive at Paul Ricard, the venue for next year’s French Grand Prix.

Renault say Kubica’s programme will “extensively evaluate his driving capabilities”

“Whilst the first day of testing at Valencia was no more than to let Robert get reacquainted with the feel of driving again,” said managing director Cyril Abiteboul, “this second test will be to assess his capabilities to return to the highest level of competition”.

“This is a new phase in his personal and professional journey and we are proud to support him in the form of lending our infrastructure at Paul Ricard that is suitable for professional and non-professional drivers.”

“There are still many hurdles for him to overcome, and he knows better than anyone else that only his performance will determine if he can one day return to being a professional driver.”

Kubica also drove a Renault in a public demonstration at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month. He made is F1 debut with BMW in 2006 and won the Canadian Grand Prix for them two years later. He joined Renault at the beginning of 2010 but was injured before he could start his second season with the team.

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  • 65 comments on “Renault confirm Kubica will test for them again to judge if he can return”

    1. Forza Kubica!
      😀😀😀
      What a beuatiful summer we have this year

      Jesteśmy z Tobą

    2. I honestly can’t imagine shifting up and down with only my left hand. Kudos to RK to drive an F1 car competitively with that setup.

      1. Anyone know why he’s testing with the 2012 car? Due to regulation he should be able to test up to the 2015 car. I’m guessing he’s not testing the hybrids because the Renaults/Lotuses were un competitve then? But what about the 2013 car?

        1. I think that’s the car they regularly use for any kinds of runs. The 2015 car is out of the picture anyway as that used a Mercedes PU, the 2014 Lotus was terrible to drive, and also it’s expensive to run these hybrid power units.

          1. Dawid Stolarski
            6th July 2017, 15:36

            The 2012 car is the fastest comparing to the car from this season. 2015 was a piece of crap, also all of the cars were slower than 2012 ones.

        2. Robert answered that question in review. That years car was as fast, as current specification, especially on turns. V6 cars until 2017 spec was slower on turns and forces on turns was smaller. 2012 car has similar forces on turns as 2017 cars.

      2. I remember reading in F1 racing many moons ago Jacques Villeneuve was the same, used up and down shifting on left paddle only

      3. I guess the paddles will have enough separation so that he doesn’t downshift by mistake. What I’m not really sure is if he’ll be able to use both hands to operate the clutch, otherwise he’ll be at a disadvantage during race starts.

        1. Af far as I’m aware, since this season, they are using only one clutch pedal for starts.

        2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          6th July 2017, 16:33

          Or maybe they use a system like the McL road cars. I recall an Evo video where Henry Catchpole was driving a 570S and pulling the paddle up for an upshift, and pushing down for a downshift.

      4. Jaques villeneuve used that setup in f1!

      5. It will take training but wont be too difficult for him to train to use single hand for gear changes. Mattia Pasini(motoGP rider) has an injury due to which he uses left hand on his racing bike for operating both clutch and brake levers. Here is a link to article on how he uses his racing machine:

      6. I had wondered about using motorcycle type controls on a car, e.g. the gears are done by your left foot, the brakes are the right foot, and the throttle is done with a twist grip on the steering wheel. I’m not sure how you’d manage with that awkward clutch system they have to have.

        1. @drycrust, oddly, I believe that Chapman did try something similar with the Lotus 76 (there was a variant of that car which did have a twist throttle built into the gearshift lever, IIRC, so you could in theory blip the throttle whilst changing gear – though it caused so many problems with reliability that the system, and then eventually the entire car, were abandoned).

    3. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      6th July 2017, 15:10

      Jolyoff Palmer will be sweating and swearing. And if Robert is deemed as able to return, I would put him next to Hulk ASAP. He would grab all the headlines for Renault (now that the bump-gate is getting old) and if he scores points, he will prove he is worth the sudden change. It would be a win-win decision.

      1. I’m wondering what the monetary value of the positive press would be. It is clearly worth something, but I have no idea how to estimate it.

        Seems like sponsorship for top drivers is worth millions, so perhaps in that range?

      2. Why would Jolyon be sweating? I think he should be, but at the moment Robert won’t be the one replacing him. Robert isn’t driving the current season’s car, so he won’t be able to use this test as part of an application to the FIA to get an exemption to allow him to drive in F1 next year.
        When I saw the headline I was fully expecting the test to be in the current season’s car, but it isn’t. Earlier this week or last week someone posted the actual rule on this website and it said an exemption could be approved by the FIA if the driver had driven 300 km in this season’s car. The 2012 car isn’t this season’s car, so the mileage doesn’t count towards the necessary 300 kilometres.

        1. The 2012 car isn’t this seasons car, but, if this test goes well, there is the next in-season test coming, after the Hungarian GP, where he can drive the current car to get his super-license! Perhaps this is why they are having the Paul Ricard test next week and not during the summer break (or at least i hope so!)

        2. Jorge Olivier
          6th July 2017, 21:25

          He can comply with the 300 km either in two consecutive FP1s or in the in season test in Hungary.

          1. Try telling Sergey Sirotkin that…

      3. @omarr-pepper, if we’re blunt, I get the impression that Renault will be getting rid of Palmer whatever happens with Kubica. They didn’t really want him to begin with, and increasingly it feels like the team are just going through the motions with him and ploughing their resources into Hulkenberg, whom they intend to build the team around in the long term.

        It would certainly fit with the historical operating pattern of the team, where they’ve tended to run a very marked lead and junior driver policy. Even though Palmer isn’t a great driver, there is probably more to the difference in performance between him and Hulkenberg – I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it was being slightly exacerbated by Renault’s operating model.

        It is also one reason why I wonder whether Renault really would want to have Kubica come in – even in the past, when competing for championships, they’ve tended to put a low share of resources into their second driver, yet I expect that Kubica would require a fair amount of resources.

    4. Apparently he’s been putting in times just slower than Hulkenberg and quicker than Palmer in the simulator, so if he is able to transform that sort of pace into real life even with his injuries and the various forces on the car, he will surely replace Palmer for next year, and everyone will love him.

      1. where did you get that info from? that is interesting

        1. in the Renault symulator he wac as quick as Hulk

          “Insiders say he has since driven the team’s simulator and been as quick in it as lead driver Nico Hulkenberg, although this is not necessarily an accurate measurement of his on-track potential.”

        2. “And insiders say he has since driven the team’s simulator and been as quick in it as lead driver Nico Hulkenberg, although this is not necessarily an accurate measurement of his on-track potential”
          http://m.bbc.com/sport/formula1/40492882

          1. Cheers, thanks

            That is a good indicator, but still, the real world would still be miles apart

            Fingers crossed

            1. yeah he will be even quicker in real life

    5. F1 racing magazine were allowed at the last test and they confirmed (in tomorrows issue) that he was faster than sirotkin, first go in over 6 years.

    6. The person who has to be most interested in the outcome of this test has to be Carlos Sainz. Given that he has said he is unlikely to be a STR next season, Renault is probably his best long term bet for a move up the grid.

    7. This is pretty big news. He’s not a rich kid, and they’re obviously not organising test sessions to boost his self-esteem without any ulterior motives. They want him back, and rather sooner than later.

      So, he’s been out of the cockpit for almost seven years now (as far as Formula 1 GPs are concerned) – what’s the longest break before returning to full-time racing in the history of F1? Could Kubica set a new record?

      1. Kubica would not beat the absolute record of longest time between consecutive race entries between – Jan Lammers holds that one. He did not enter any races between the 1982 French Grand Prix and the 1992 Japanese Grand Prix. He only entered two races after his comeback (the last two races of the season) though. (Similar story for Luca Badoer between 1999 Japanese GP and 2009 Belgian GP.)

        So if we consider full seasons, he would maybe indeed have the record, but I haven’t been able to crunch the statistics yet.

        1. Derek Edwards
          6th July 2017, 16:45

          Bruno Giacomelli perhaps, if you can call that a full-time comeback?

          1. Yep, I’d call that a full-time comeback. Well spotted!

        2. @mike-dee I think Luigi Fagioli also contsted a European Championship, so if that counts….

          1. @davidnotcoulthard
            That’s a tough one. I’d say it doesn’t really count because of the Second World War and the fact that there was no F1 before 1946. Still, a break of almost 15 years from being a full-time race driver is pretty impressive.

        3. I checked some more, and the closest to a current record holder would be Peter Revson. He took in a majority of races in the 1964 season, and then came back for the last race of the 1971 season, and continued the full seasons 1972 and 1973.

          But Kubica would beat him if he comes back next year only. If he comes back this year, it could be close for the record.

          1. @mike-dee
            Phew, Revson is a complicated case, considering that he only appeared at 6 out of 10 races, taking the start no more than 5 times. I don’t really know the story behind his 1964 season, but it does look like he was only a full-time driver for Reg Parnell Racing for three races, and even then, he had to hand his car to Mike Hailwood after the French GP qualifying. Other than that, 3 sporadic participations as a privateer, only one of which (the German GP) connected with his Parnell stint. And then, his career ground to a halt with 2 races to go in the 1964 season.
            If there’s ever been a borderline case, it has to be him.

        4. @mike-dee, there have certainly been a number of drivers who returned after a long absence to complete a few races – Badoer had a gap of nearly 10 years, whilst Pete Lovely had a gap of close to nine years in his career.

          Probably one of the drivers who would fit your criteria more closely would be Peter Revson, who had a full time career in 1964 (driving for Reg Parnell), then return seven years later to Tyrrell, before moving to McLaren and later Shadow.

          1. (copied from above)
            Phew, Revson is a complicated case, considering that he only appeared at 6 out of 10 races, taking the start no more than 5 times. I don’t really know the story behind his 1964 season, but it does look like he was only a full-time driver for Reg Parnell Racing for three races, and even then, he had to hand his car to Mike Hailwood after the French GP qualifying. Other than that, 3 sporadic participations as a privateer, only one of which (the German GP) connected with his Parnell stint. And then, his career ground to a halt with 2 races to go in the 1964 season.
            If there’s ever been a borderline case, it has to be him.

        5. Jan Lammers had a 10 year gap between 1982 and 1992

          1. Yes, but Lammers and Badoer (and a couple of others) only had a few races after their return, and not a full season.

      2. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        6th July 2017, 17:26

        I have to agree with Nase here. What I could understood by reading this article is that all the money to arrange this test is coming from Renault (and so, indirectly from Palmer? oh the irony).
        If they are spending the money for him, it means tons. It means he is seen as worth the try. I really hope Robert manages to put more than acceptable times so he is given the upper hand and starts his F1 career again.
        I have to admit that his comments some days ago, as saying he feels 90% ready to race again, sounded as self-marketing. But now Renault has confirmed this news, it seems to me they think he is more than 90% ready. Let’s see.
        BTW, any programmed date for this test?

        1. deMercer (@)
          6th July 2017, 17:40

          BTW, any programmed date for this test?

          I read somewhere rumours are oit will be next week …

    8. Renault confirm Kubica will

      OH WOW, REALLY?, THIS IS…..

      judge if he can return

      ….oh

      1. @davidnotcoulthard Sorry, didn’t mean to get your hopes up! Though it’s starting to look more positive.

        1. didn’t mean to get your hopes up!

          Don’t worry that’s not what I meant – though yeah it is looking more and more positive indeed ( a bit weird BTW how he simply missed the inter-Renault privateer-Enstone period, early 2011 photo shoots aside (unless he actually did testing)).

      2. I was thinking the same when I read it haha !

    9. Will he be eligible for a super license? Or will the FIA issue him one based on previous races?

      1. Kubica confirmed yesterday on chat with Polish fans that the license is not the issue at all

    10. But why?
      There is loads of other drivers more suitable for a F1 seat.

      1. Like who? Several of the rookies brought in this year and last have been fairly disappointing, even those that were hyped. If they think he is as quick as Hulk in the sim (and hulk is pretty damn quick, definitely top 10 on the grid) and IF (big if) he can translate that sim pace to sustained race pace then no there isn’t really anyone more suitable. Kubica was a huge talent when he was first in f1, if he can wholly recapture that then any team on the grid would be looking at him.

        1. Damn that sim. Just hit me in the face.

          If Kubica is as quick as Hulk on the sim he is going to be quicker on the track. Why? Because a sim doesn’t take into weight into account.

          1. Nonsense weight is included if you use an good simulatior. I build those for some teams and everything is calculated.

      2. Really Now?! Please mention who…

        The last bright rookie prospect was Vandoorne. Kubica would go faster than Vandoorne if he drove with only his feet.

        1. – Pierre Gasly
          – Giovinazzi
          – Rosenqvist
          – Leclerc
          – Lotterer
          – Kobyashi

          To name a few…

          1. Did You saw 2010 season? Kubica drove brilliantly, scored podiums in australia, monaco, spa, ad would had a go at suzuka if the wheel wouldn’t come off (it went loose after first lap). In a car that was heavily underdeveloped at the beginning of the season.

            1. Have You seen*

    11. Hakk The Rack
      7th July 2017, 8:30

      Robert,
      daj czadu! Kochamy Cię!!!!

    12. It’s great news for Kubica’s fans. I’m looking forward to the 2018 season!

      Sławek

      bgp.pl

    13. I am pretty sure we will have many answers on Wednesday.
      Just few days left.

      Go Robert, fingers crossed.

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