It’s time to add another carriage to the Robert Kubica hype train as it’s finally been announced that he will take part in the two-day test at the Hungaroring. He’ll be driving the Renault R.S.17 on the Tuesday after the race, whilst Formula 2 driver Nicolas Latifi will drive it on Wednesday.
Rumours of Renault giving him a chance in current F1 machinery have been simmering for a while. The news is kind of a big deal too as it uses up the teams last day where they’re allowed to run someone who’s driven in more than two Grand Prix – and Kubica has been chosen ahead of Nico Hulkenberg or Jolyon Palmer.
If all goes well it looks like Kubica could be in serious contention for a race seat in 2018. That’s not just speculation either – Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul pretty much admitted that he could be a part of Renaults future plans:
“The first two days of testing allowed both Robert and ourselves to gather a great amount of information. The upcoming session with the R.S.17 at the Hungaroring will allow us all to obtain detailed and precise data in a current car and representative conditions. After this test, we will carefully analyse the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years.”
There’ll be plenty of challenges for Kubica to overcome as the R.S.17 is a more complicated car than the Lotus E20 he tested in Valencia. The Hungaroring is also pretty much as tight and twisty as F1 tracks get apart from Monaco, so will test his injured arm to the limits.
If all goes well then it’ll be hard not to get consumed by the hype because the possibility of him making a comeback would start to get very, very real. And how can you not be excited by the possibility of seeing him in F1 again?