Robert Kubica’s return to F1 machinery with a private test at the Valencia circuit in a Renault-liveried Lotus E20 has to be one of the most heart-warming stories of 2017 so far.
Well, it is for motorsport fans, at least. Over six years after suffering terrifying injuries in a rally crash, Kubica was back where he wanted to be – behind the wheel of an F1 car.
The test went well, too, with Kubica managing 115 laps in total at the start of June and reportedly lapping faster than Renault test driver Sergey Sirotkin.
It may have been a private test, but Renault soon revealed details, pictures and video of the F1 outing and Kubica has since returned to the cockpit for demo runs at Goodwood.
So, is there another test on the horizon? A few rumours suggest he could even do an FP1 run this year, but the BBC reports that he is set for another Renault test session.
Another F1 outing, probably in the 2012 car again, has apparently been scheduled but Renault isn’t giving any details away and a spokesperson told the BBC there’s “nothing from us whatsoever”.
Still, if the reports prove to be correct, it’s another encouraging step forward for Kubica after his initial F1 test and the following demos at Goodwood.
Whether he’ll ever be able to return to a race seat isn’t particularly clear, but progress is being made and there were reports of him being as quick as Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg in the simulator.
Obviously, there’s a lot of hype around Kubica and his F1 testing. Not only is it a brilliant story but a lot of people would love to see him racing again.
We shouldn’t be getting too caught up in it at the moment, but let’s see what happens in the future.