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2018 F1

Kubica to test 2017 Renault F1 in Hungary

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Robert Kubica will step up his F1 comeback by testing Renault’s 2017 car after the forthcoming Hungarian grand prix.

At Silverstone, Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul played down reports that the former grand prix winner’s bid to sensationally return to the sport would hit a higher gear at the post-GP test at the circuit near Budapest.

But Germany’s Bild newspaper says Kubica, 32, will indeed drive this year’s Renault at the Hungaroring on July 31 — the day after the grand prix.

In recent weeks, the former BMW and Renault driver demonstrated that almost severing his forearm in a 2011 rallying crash was no longer an obstacle to him being able to drive an F1 car competitively.

He will now follow up those two tests in the 2012 Lotus car with a run in the 2017 Renault, with Bild claiming: “If he shows his speed from the past, he should replace Jolyon Palmer from Spa-Francorchamps after the summer break.”

Abiteboul said: “Jo has had some problems with reliability, but it is true that if we had two drivers who scored, we would not be eighth in the world championship.

“We are not testing Kubica for PR reasons. He is still fast and has the same energy.”

Bild said the final hurdle to Kubica reacquiring his super license is to demonstrate to the FIA that he can get out of the car within five seconds.

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