Renault says Robert Kubica showed he has the pace for F1 in test

Renault's trackside operations director Alan Permane says Robert Kubica showed he has the pace required for a Formula 1 return in his recent Valencia test

Renault says Robert Kubica showed he has the pace for F1 in test

Kubica's run in a 2012 Lotus last week was his first F1 mileage since his grand prix career was interrupted by severe arm injuries sustained in a rally crash in February '11.

He covered 115 laps of the Valencia track and said after the test that he could now target a "proper comeback".

Speaking to Poland's Eleven Sports, Permane said Kubica had shown good speed in the test but that the mileage he achieved was the bigger surprise.

"I had no doubt on his pace, ever, at all," Permane insisted.

"I did not know, and I don't think he knew, whether he would be able to drive physically - and, more than that, be able to drive a lot.

"He's driven some things. He's driven simulators, he's driven a GP3 car earlier this year in preparation for this, but we didn't really know what his limitations would be. And, honestly, it went very well.

"He was quick. He did some long runs, he did some short runs, he did qualifying, we did race simulations and it all went very well."

Asked about the viability of Kubica's comeback target, Permane replied: "From what I've seen from the statistics, from the data, the pace is there. That's for sure.

"All I would say is on that Tuesday in Valencia he did a fantastic job.

"There are many other circuits, and whether he has physical limitations on those, only he knows at the moment.

"If it needs to go any further, that would be the next step."

Kubica's severe right hand and arm injuries from the crash had been a factor in keeping him out of single-seater machinery over the past few years, but Permane said Renault only needed "a very, very small modification to the steering wheel for shifting" to accommodate him.

"We just put both upshift and downshift on the same side," Permane explained.

"It was nothing, it was a small software change for us. And it had no impact at all [on performance]."

Kubica's Renault test had been in the works "for a few months" but it was only officially confirmed by the team when it had taken place.

"Honestly we did not want to create a big media storm," Permane explained.

"We knew once it got out everyone would be interested. Everybody loves Robert, everybody feels very sad for what happened."

While Renault intimated that the test was a one-off, Permane confirmed it was open to giving Kubica further opportunities.

"We've still been in touch, we've been talking about anything possible we might do in the future," he said.

"There is nothing else planned, I can say that much at the moment.

"But I wouldn't say we won't do something again in the future."

shares
comments
Force India Formula 1 team considering name change
Previous article

Force India Formula 1 team considering name change

Next article

McLaren F1 team felt it had to speak up about Honda in Canada

McLaren F1 team felt it had to speak up about Honda in Canada
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
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

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
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