Robert Kubica completes private F1 test with Renault

The Polish driver returned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car for the first time in over six years during a private test and he admits it was emotional both in achieving something he once thought impossible, and because it demonstrated how much he has “lost”.

Former Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica was back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 during a private test in Renault’s car on Tuesday – for the first time since his horrific rallying accident back in 2011. The Pole, drove a 2012 Lotus E20 painted in Renault’s modern livery, completing 115 laps in total of the Valencia circuit in Spain.

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He said he was proud of the running he completed and also sad of what he has “lost”. On the F1 outing he said:

“I would like to thank everybody for making this possible, I hope it was a good day for everyone and maybe they saw something of my old, 2010 self. For me, it has been an important day from an emotional point of view.”

“It has been a long time away from the paddock and I have been through difficult periods, I kept working hard and a few years ago I felt it was impossible. I have mixed feelings, I am proud with what I achieved today, but also it shows what I have lost.”

“I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know one thing, after working for more than one year to prepare for this, I ran with good pace and consistent in difficult conditions.”

“It is not easy after six years, but I knew I could do the job and I can be satisfied. I appreciate the opportunity. Renault gave me my first F1 test in 2005, so I appreciate another test this time around.”

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Kubica made 76 Grand Prix starts between 2006 and 2010, winning the 2008 Canadian round for Sauber on his way to fourth in that year’s driver standings. The Polish star was preparing for his second campaign with the Lotus (now Renault) team in 2011 when he severely injured his right arm in a crash whilst participating in an Italian rally during the F1 off-season. After a lengthy recovery period he returned to competitive motorsport in 2013, first in rallying and then sportcars, with a lack of mobility in his arm initially precluding single-seater activity.

It warmed out hearts to see pictures and a short video of Kubica in action, who knows what could’ve happened if he continued in F1. Hopefully we see him return to racing on a more regular basis in the future.

Luka Hribar

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