‘I can get back to the driver I was before,’ insists Kubica

Robert Kubica is confident that he can drive a Formula 1 car competitively again and be just as good as he once was.

The Polish driver appeared in 76 races between 2006 and 2010. He won the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008. However his time in Formula 1 was cut short after being badly injured in a rallying accident in February 2011.

Speculation that Kubica could return to Formula 1 has been rife ever since Renault gave him two recent outings in the 2012 car. There have been rumours that he could drive this year’s car in testing at the Hungaroring later this month.

Team boss Cyril Abiteboul has refused to comment. Some reports have said Kubica might even replace Jolyon Palmer in free practice in Hungary.

“I don’t want to add to the speculation,” said the Frenchman. “Right now the focus is on getting the most out of the current lineup and package that we have. We’ll be thinking about 2018 in due course.

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

Kubica said that if such an opportunity did arise, he was confident he was physically up to the challenge.

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“The differences are mainly in cornering performance, but this is only a matter of habit and work,” the 32-year-old told Italy’s Corriere della Sera.

“If the others can do it, I do not see why I shouldn’t be able to as well,” he said. “It will take training and preparation. But I now know that I can get back to the driver I was before.

“And without false modesty, I can say that my level in 2010 was high!

“I realise now that I have managed to take back what fate took from me in that accident in 2011,” he added. “If before Renault had the courage and confidence to let me try, let’s say I can match that now.

Kubica also spoke of how much the two tests with Renault earlier this year had meant to him.

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“When I saw the car ready for me in the box at Valencia, I thought ‘This is the passion I have always felt. This is my life’. At the second test at Le Castellet, the feeling was even clearer.

“I knew I did not have to worry and felt a sense of peace in the cockpit that had been missing for six years. The rest happened almost by magic and remains with me, no matter what happens next.”

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