Kubica to drive for Renault in Hungaroring test
Robert Kubica will test Renault's current Formula 1 car at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test, the team has announced.
Renault has been weighing up for several weeks whether or not to run Kubica in the test, in its bid to better understand if the Polish driver is capable of an F1 return in 2018.
It is now confirmed that Kubica will drive for the team on the second day of the two-day test, which begins on the Tuesday after the Hungaroring event.
DAMS Formula 2 driver Nicholas Latifi will drive the car on the first day of testing.
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul is clear that the Hungary run will be about getting a full assessment on what role Kubica could plan in its future plans.
"The first two days of testing allowed both Robert and ourselves to gather a great amount of information," said Abiteboul.
"The upcoming session with the R.S.17 at the Hungaroring will allow us all to obtain detailed and precise data in a current car and representative conditions.
"After this test, we will carefully analyse the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years."
The Hungary test situation was complicated for Renault because Kubica's experience of F1 meant he is officially classified as a non-rookie driver, so if he ran it would have to be at the expense of either Jolyon Palmer or Nico Hulkenberg.
The FIA regulations demand that two of the four in-season test days are completed by drivers who have competed in no more than two grands prix. Kubica completed 76 races in his career for BMW Sauber and Renault.
With Renault having run Hulkenberg for one day in Bahrain, it meant that it only has one day remaining for a race driver.
The only other way that Renault could have run Kubica would be in a totally separate acclimatisation test that is allowed in the rules if a team elects to substitute a driver.
Kubica would be qualified to do this – because he has not raced in F1 for two years – and it would have to take part on a track that does not host an F1 race.
However, should the test go ahead and the team decide in the end that Kubica is not ready to compete, then the rule would dictate Renault losing one of its pre-season test days for 2018.
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