Stanaway 'fully recovered' from 2012 back injury

Richie Stanaway believes he is back to 100 per cent fitness following the back injury which curtailed his 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 season

The Gravity-backed Lotus Formula 1 junior driver was forced out of action following an aerial crash at Spa in June.

Following a long lay-off from the cockpit, Stanaway is satisfied that he is back to full fitness.

"I now feel back to how I was before the injury, as if nothing ever happened," Stanaway told AUTOSPORT.

"It's nice to have the fitness back and feel normal again. 2012 was the worst year of my career so far."

The 21-year-old returned to the cockpit of a single-seater before Christmas, taking part in a Toyota Racing Series test in New Zealand for the series organisers.

"It wasn't anything too serious, I was just running in some parts," he said. "But that was the perfect environment for me to get back into it.

"I wanted to know that my back felt OK before I was coming back to Europe for anything, and I was happy that I felt back to 100 per cent.

"I expected there to be some comfort issues, maybe a little bit of pain or something, but I didn't feel anything at all."

For more on where Richie Stanaway is set to return to racing in 2013, see this week's AUTOSPORT magazine

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