Renault: Kubica unlikely to race in 2011
|By Pablo Elizalde and Matt Beer||Monday, May 23rd 2011, 13:23 GMT|
Renault team owner Gerard Lopez says Robert Kubica could assess his fitness by driving in a Friday practice session at a grand prix later this year - but reckons it is highly unlikely that the Pole will be fit enough to race again during 2011.
Kubica is continuing his rehabilitation at home following the rally crash nearly four months ago that left him with multiple injuries including a partially severed right arm.
The doctors treating him have suggested it will be the summer before they can predict a potential date for his Formula 1 return, and Lopez said the door was open for Kubica to participate in a Friday practice session if it would be helpful, even if he was not up to racing this season.
"We'll probably get him to test on a Friday at some point during the year, but I'm sure his return is not possible this year," Lopez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.
Lopez warned that it was still too early to say if Kubica would even be able to continue his F1 career, let alone to predict his return.
"Robert has survived a spectacular accident and now comes the most difficult part, which is to recover fully, something that no one, not himself, not the doctors, not ourselves, knows if he will achieve," he said.
Lopez added that he was not content with Renault's performance so far this season, as it has tailed off since taking podium finishes in both the first two grands prix.
He said Vitaly Petrov's qualifying result in Spain showed that the car had great potential that was not being realised.
"I wouldn't say we've had a good start," Lopez said. "To me it has been weak because we were aiming higher.
"In qualifying [in Spain], Vitaly lost sixth tenths in the second sector because of a problem with the gearbox, otherwise he would have been in third. And for Vitaly, who is nearly a rookie, to finish third [on the grid] in Barcelona means that the car has the potential to do a lot more.
"The start was good in the first two races, but the rest... We are hoping for podiums, maybe to win a race that's out of Red Bull dominance, and try to finish in third or fourth place in the championship."