F1 test reminded me what I've lost, says Kubica

Polish driver Robert Kubica tested a Formula One auto in Spain on Wednesday for the first time since a 2011 rallying accident that partially severed his forearm.

The test at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit followed on from his single-seater runs in GP3 and Formula E machinery in recent months, with the Pole claiming the a year ago has built up to an F1 return.

His last run in an F1 auto was during pre-season testing for the 2011 season at the Valencia circuit, just days before the rally accident that cut short his single-seater career.

The crash had partially severed his right forearm and though Kubica had been determined to return to the sport he loved, he never recovered enough to meet the demands of the physically-intensive F1 cars. The Renault team posted a teasing picture on Twitter of the 32-year-old removing his helmet after driving the 2012 Lotus E20 vehicle at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit.

He managed 115 laps in total and said he was proud of what he achieved, thanking Renault for the opportunity, but admitted it was "not easy".

When asked by Corriere della Sport about Kubica's test, the 50-year-old said: "I read that he did more than 100 laps, so he would be able to make a return to the sport".

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"For me, it has been an important day from an emotional point of view". I do not know what the future will bring me, but I know that after more than a year of preparation for this moment, I was able to drive with good rhythm and under hard conditions.

"It is a tricky thing to jump into an F1 auto after six years and it was a great performance from him. Renault was the first manufacturer to test me in 2005 and I appreciated this new opportunity".

Renault F1 team sporting director Alan Permane praised Kubica's efforts after such a long time away.

After Tuesday's running was complete, Renault posted a series of photos and videos from the team's official Twitter account. "It was a smooth day". We tried to condense a Grand Prix weekend in one day, which was very interesting for him. His comments and feedback, however, were like turning the clock back for all of us. It is a tricky thing to jump into an F1 vehicle after six years and it was a great performance from him.

"This was a one-off event for Robert", he confirmed. His collaboration with Renault was abruptly cut short, while we saw a bright future for him.

  • Gina Adkins