Polish driver Kubica was one of F1’s biggest stars when he raced for the Renault squad in 2010 only to then suffer terrible injuries in a rally car crash in early 2011.
He has since competed in other forms of motor sport – including the World Rally Championship – but only recently has there been serious talk of an F1 comeback.
Kubica tested a Renault V8-powered 2012-spec F1 car (‘E20’) with Renault at Valencia, Spain in June and drove it again for the manufacturer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the start of July.
As we went to press it was confirmed that Kubica would “shortly return” for another test, this time at the French circuit of Paul Ricard – scene in 1982 and 1983 of grand prix wins in F1 for Renault.
Renault Sport Racing’s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul commented: “Whilst the first day of testing at Valencia was no more than to let Robert get reacquainted with the feel of driving again, this second test will be to assess his capabilities to return to the highest level of competition.
“This is a new phase in his personal and professional journey and we are proud to support him in the form of lending our infrastructure at Paul Ricard that is suitable for professional and non-professional drivers.
“There are still many hurdles for him to overcome and he knows better than anyone else that only his performance will determine if he can one day return to being a professional driver.”
In a recent interview with Autosport magazine reflecting on his Valencia test, Kubica was reported as saying he believed his chances of returning to F1 to be between 80 and 90 per cent – much higher than he had thought previously.
Following the Valencia test, in which he completed 115 laps, Kubica said: “I would like to thank everybody for making this possible, I hope it was a good day for everyone and maybe they saw something of my old, 2010 self.
“For me, it has been an important day from an emotional point of view. It has been a long time away from the paddock and I have been through difficult periods, I kept working hard and a few years ago I felt it was impossible. I have mixed feelings, I am proud with what I achieved today, but also it shows what I have lost.
“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 consistent in difficult conditions. It is not easy after six years, but I knew I could do the job and I can be satisfied.
“I appreciate the opportunity. Renault gave me my first F1 test in 2005, so I appreciate another test this time around.”