Kubica rates F1 return chance at '80 or 90%', set to test again

Robert Kubica believes there is an "80 or 90%" chance that he will return to Formula 1 following his test with the Renault team

Kubica rates F1 return chance at '80 or 90%', set to test again

Kubica had to leave F1 after sustaining severe injuries to his right hand and arm in a rally accident in 2011, but completed his first test in F1 machinery since that crash last month at the Valencia circuit.

The 32-year-old drove a 2012-spec Lotus E20 and Autosport understands he will get a second outing with Renault later this month at an undisclosed venue.

Why Ferrari should sign Kubica for 2018

Kubica said his optimism about a possible return to the sport has been boosted since the first test.

"If you asked me how much I was realistically thinking that coming back to F1 was possible [before the test], I would have put myself up to 10% or maximum 20% chance," Kubica told Auto Express at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, when he drove the car up the hill.

"Because the clock is running - not just the classification, but also [I am] getting older. F1 is going so fast that some people forget - not everyone, but some.

"Because I'm very realistic, and I'm keeping my feet on the ground, I'd put it at 80 or 90% [now]."

Kubica had driven rally cars, competing in the World Rally Championship, but had also sampled sportscars - including the ByKolles privateer LMP1 machine - as well as GP3 and Formula E single-seaters.

He said did not feel like it had been six years since he drove a grand prix car.

"You build up your own question marks, based on how you know yourself and your body, and then if you'd asked me about them after even the first run at Valencia, they were gone, gone, gone, gone," he said.

"Then it becomes much easier than I thought. This gives you good confidence and puts you in a completely different level - of trying to have a better feeling in the car and better performance.

"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. I'm surprised how it felt; it felt for me like I hadn't driven for one month, not six years."

Kubica also insisted "most of the question marks I had" about how he could perform in an F1 car are now gone.

"My first target was to see if I could be capable of doing it," he said. "So this is more or less done.

"Second, let's say, realistically talking, is raising the game slowly and step by step. F1 is a tough competition and I have been away from racing a long time.

"Actually it was a huge relief for me because this test would have been a case of, 'Yes, I can do this' or 'No, I have to close the door on F1 forever'."

shares
comments
Duration of F1 oil burn controversy proves it's real, says Renault

Previous article

Duration of F1 oil burn controversy proves it's real, says Renault

Next article

Formula 1 makes new push to boost interest in China

Formula 1 makes new push to boost interest in China
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021