Kubica still a long way off F1
ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: Robert Kubica will reach another landmark in his rehabilitation when he tests a Mercedes DTM touring car in January 2013.
LONDON, Jan 22 - Polish driver Robert Kubica will test a Mercedes DTM touring car in Spain but any hopes of a return to Formula 1 remains a long way off.
New Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff told reporters that the former BMW-Sauber and Renault driver would be testing with the HWA team at the Valencia circuit.
F1 CAR TRIAL?
Wolff said: "We all obviously like Robert, he's a very special chap and what we want to do with Mercedes-Benz is give him a chance doing a proper test in a proper race car and seeing how he goes on and how he feels.
"This is what we will be doing in the next days and I'm very glad that he's able to do that. He's very much looking forward to it and he's very excited. Let's see how it goes."
Wolff said Kubica was "not yet 100% fit" and had not driven a car with such downforce since he suffered severe arm and hand injuries while competing in a minor rally in Italy in February 2011.
Asked whether Mercedes might give him a run in an F1 car if the test was successful, he said that was not on the horizon.
Wolff said: "If the DTM test goes well and we see that he is doing well in a proper race car with downforce, I think there are still some physical constraints to drive a monocoque (single seater) chassis with his elbow and arm.
"I think we all would love to see Robert doing well in a F1car in the future but that is definitely too early at this stage."
Kubica, Poland's first and only F1racer who was a grand prix winner with BMW-Sauber in 2008, was considered a champion of the future before he had his accident.
The Pole has competed in and won minor rallies as part of his rehabilitation. He said in September 2012 that he was still hoping to return to F1 eventually but might never return to the same physical level as before.
The Mercedes DTM car has a V8 engine delivering some 372kW compared to in excess of 560kW for a F1V8.