Robert Kubica has returned to a Formula 1 cockpit for the first time in over six years to conduct a private test with Renault Sport Formula One Team at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on 6th June 2017.
Robert completed 115 laps using the team’s 2012 specification, Renault V8 powered E20.
This was Robert’s first time in a Formula 1 car since pre-season testing for the 2011 season. He shared his thoughts with us …
What was it like being behind an F1 wheel again?
It has been an important day from an emotional point of view. I have been testing myself for this. I have been away from the paddock for a long time and I wanted to test myself first of all after having been through difficult periods. A few years ago, it felt impossible but I kept working hard physically. After the day’s running I have mixed feelings, I am proud with what I achieved but also it shows what I have lost since the accident.
Did you ever think a return was possible?
It was clear I had to raise my game and find my limit. I knew it would be possible to drive in a Formula 1 car again, I had a feeling and the urge to do it. I think the best person who can judge if it was possible or not is myself. I believed in it firmly a year ago. I knew I had to prepare as best as I can and I knew it would take time. I felt comfortable in the car, but I needed to take my time to get to the proper pace.
How was it from a physical point of view?
Physically, I managed very well so I am happy. There are memories and emotions and it is kind of a revenge for me. It is only a test, but two or three years ago I thought it would be impossible. I would like to thank everybody for making this possible and I hope it was a good day for everyone. Maybe they saw something of my old, 2010 self!
What are the future plans?
I hope this is the start of new things. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know one thing, after working for more than one year to prepare for this, I ran with good pace and consistency in tricky conditions, especially with the high track temperature. It is not easy after six years, but it was a big surprise for me, I knew I could do the job and I can be satisfied. I appreciate the opportunity. Renault gave me a first F1 test in 2005, so I appreciate another test this time around.