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FIA gives green light for Robert Kubica's return to F1

2017-07-25 09:28

Image: AP

Hungary - F1's governing body says it has no problem with Robert Kubica's impending return to the sport.

Amid intense speculation about the former race winner's potential return, Renault has now confirmed that 32-year-old Kubica will drive the 2017 car in the post-Hungarian GP test.

Bild newspaper says it is possible Kubica will replace Jolyon Palmer as soon as Spa after the August break, while even team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits the Budapest test is to see if Kubica can "return to competition in upcoming years".

Path clear for Kubica

However, there is no doubt that movement in the former BMW and Renault driver's right arm is severely limited in the wake of his 2011 horror rally crash.

But F1 race director Charlie Whiting said the path is clear for Kubica to return.

"Like any other driver, Robert has his A-license from the national association.  The licensing also includes a medical check," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Renault has adapted the steering wheel of Kubica's car to facilitate the changing of gears with his left hand only, but Whiting said there will be no dispensation from the mandatory cockpit exit test.

To be cleared to even test an F1 car, a driver must demonstrate that he can get out of the cockpit in an emergency in 5 seconds.

"There will not be any special regulations for Kubica," Whiting clarified.

Hungarian GP - perfect return for Kubica

Nico Hulkenberg thinks Hungary is the perfect venue for Kubica to step up his campaign to return to F1.

Kubica has already tested a 2012 car at Valencia and Paul Ricard, but Renault has now announced that the 32-year-old will drive the current car in the post-Hungarian GP test.

It has raised expectations of a sensational return to the grid for the former BMW and Renault driver, perhaps even as soon as Spa after the August break, to fever pitch.

Nico Hulkenberg, the current Renault racer, thinks Budapest's Hungaroring is the perfect venue for Kubica to put the pedal to the metal.

"The Hungaroring is one of the most strenuous tracks, because there is only one straight on which to relax," the German told Auto Motor und Sport.

"After the race weekend there's a lot of rubber on the track too, which means maximum grip.  Anyone who passes that test can also drive a grand prix," Hulkenberg said.

A report in Bild newspaper said Renault's "secret plan" is for Kubica to impress in Hungary and then "replace the struggling Jolyon Palmer at Spa on August 27".

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