Kubica feeling fantastic after 'incredible journey' back to F1

Robert Kubica, Renault, after Hungary in-season test - August 2
© XPB 

Robert Kubica was on a high after completing a full day of testing with Renault at the Hungaroring on Wednesday.

It's his first time in a modern-specification Formula 1 car since his rallying accident in February 2011 which curtailed his Grand Prix career.

The 32-year-old Polish driver has had two outings in an older 2012 car. The first was at Valencia in June, the second at the Paul Ricard Circuit in July. But that was nothing compared to the latest specification R.S.17 he was driving in Hungary.

He ended the day fourth fastest. On the way he completed a total of 142 laps - twice the length of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

“It was a fantastic feeling for me to be here today," he said after the chequered flag ended the day's track action.

"It was amazing to see so many fans come to see me out on track. Thank you to all of them," he added.

"It has been an incredible journey to this point," he continued. "I have answered many questions to myself. I learnt a lot about the latest generation car.

"There are a reasonable amount of differences between it and the Formula 1 cars I have driven in the past," he admitted. "The car is certainly wider than before.

"Certainly my understanding of the R.S.17 and the 2017 tyres came on a lot.

"I was able to work through the team’s programme methodically and I think we made good progress."

The big question now is where next for Kubica. Is this the peak of his comeback dream - or will he take further steps toward resuming his truncated Grand Prix career?

"After today, it’s too early to say what the next step might be," he said. "For now, I owe a big thanks to everyone at Renault Sport Formula One Team for making this test happen."

Renault's sporting director Alan Permane was pleased with how the test had gone. However, he wouldn't be drawn on what might happen next.

“It’s been a full and productive day with over two Grands Prix worth of laps completed," he said. "We worked through a comprehensive programme and Robert was able to give us great feedback.

"The R.S.17 ran faultlessly, even with the extreme temperatures we faced out on track.

"We have accumulated a lot of data over the past two days to add to the lessons learnt in the Grand Prix here," he added. "We have scope to further optimise the car looking to the next Grands Prix after the summer shut down."

Rumours persist that the team might consider putting Kubica in the car as early as the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month.

That would mean ousting Jolyon Palmer from his race seat, the Briton having had a torrid and disappointing season to date.

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