Robert Kubica made his Formula 1 return today behind the wheel of a 2012 Lotus E20 in Valencia today. The Polish grand prix winner was behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time since 2011. Kubica had been set to compete the 2011 season with Lotus, before a rallying crash saw him sidelined for that season. He was due to return to F1 in 2012, but a lengthy recovery period put pay to that.
Kubica instead spent the next 4 years rallying, winning the WRC-2 championship in 2013. Despite his sucsess in rallying, Kubica had his sites set on circuit racing. He made his circuit racing return last year at the Mugello 12 hours. He also got on the podium at Spa in the Renault Sport Trophy. Kubica was due to move into the World Endurance Championship for round 1 this season, but backed down at the last minute.
Before his run in the ex-Kimi Raikkonen Lotus, Kubica has been testing in a variety of cars. Runs in GP3 and Formula E and even a test in an LMP2 car before his run in the Lotus. The car he drove was the same chassis that Raikkonen drove to victory in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2012. Despite being out of F1 for 6 years, Kubica managed to complete 115 laps of the 4.005km Valencia circuit. That equates to 1.5 Grand Prix distances. So what did the Pole have to say about his return. According to Renault’s Twitter “Robert complained about grip, understeer, downforce and had the biggest smile on after his 115 laps.”
Rumours have started that this will not be the only run that Kubica has in a Renault F1 car, but will this pave the way for a potential return? There is a whole host of Kubica fans that are hoping for this to be true.