Renault rules out Kubica replacing Palmer during 2017 F1 season

Renault insists Robert Kubica will not race in Formula 1 this season and that his Hungaroring test is purely to evaluate his chance of a 2018 comeback

Renault rules out Kubica replacing Palmer during 2017 F1 season

News Kubica will drive the current Renault next Wednesday fuelled speculation he could replace Jolyon Palmer as early as August's Belgian Grand Prix - a suggestion Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul dismissed.

"We continue to support Jo and there is absolutely no change of plan," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"It is true that with Robert we feel we need to investigate a little bit further after all the tests we have done.

"Obviously there have been the tests we did with the 2012 car, but also we have done other things - medical checks and simulator work that I don't really want to elaborate on.

"We want to have a closer look about how realistic it would be for Robert to drive again in a modern F1 car, and possibly into a racing context.

"The last opportunity to at least do the test in a modern F1 car was the Hungary test, and we are taking that opportunity.

"But that is really something that is more medium to long term.

"It is not a short-term plan and it is not a short-term option to do anything with our driver line-up."

F1 RACING: Behind the scenes of Kubica's comeback

Abiteboul insisted a strong test performance from Kubica would not guarantee a 2018 seat.

"Robert could be a candidate for 2018 but before we can really consider him as a candidate, we need to see how he will cope with cars with more downforce and with more power, because clearly the [2012] car he has been driving up until now is not representative," he said.

"Frankly, even if he does well, it does not mean immediately that we will decide to go for him for 2018 because there is more we need to look into."

He added that he had reassured Palmer over the implications of Kubica's test.

"I told him that Robert is not an immediate threat," said Abiteboul.

"Clearly we are looking at options for 2018, and Jo could be an option for 2018. That is in his hands.

"What we are doing with Robert has nothing to do with what Jo does this weekend or even after the summer break.

"But there will not be any replacement driver in Spa, as I've seen stories suggesting that too.

"I can confirm that Jo will be driving in Spa and the plan is for him to drive until the end of the season."

This weekend in Hungary, Palmer will get the new floor team-mate Nico Hulkenberg used at the British GP.

Abiteboul believes Palmer needs to rebuild his confidence, but must "perform like any driver who makes it to F1 has to perform".

"I am not going to take away the fact that there is pressure," he said.

"It is a competitive environment and that is never going to go away. But it is not a short term pressure."

shares
comments
Pirelli: Raikkonen's British GP puncture caused by external damage
Previous article

Pirelli: Raikkonen's British GP puncture caused by external damage

Next article

Pierre Gasly believes Toro Rosso F1 drive for 2018 can still happen

Pierre Gasly believes Toro Rosso F1 drive for 2018 can still happen
Load comments
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021