Permane: No doubts over Kubica's pace
15 June 2017 – Robert Kubica has the pace to pursue a Formula 1 comeback, according to Renault Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane, who oversaw his recent test run.
Kubica's Grand Prix career was halted when he suffered serious arm injuries in a rally crash in 2011, but he returned to an F1 cockpit with Renault earlier this month.
Over a full day of running in Valencia last week, he covered 115 laps on various fuel loads, with only "a very slight modification" to the steering wheel, to help with shifting.
Kubica stated after the test that he is now eyeing a "proper comeback", and Permane is sure that the Pole showed enough speed to continue on his journey.
"I think he knows better than me, but from what I've seen, from the statistics, the data... the pace is there, that's for certain," Permane told Polish TV network Eleven Sports.
"My only fear was whether he could drive. I had no doubt that he was still fast, and is fast.
"I can only say that on Tuesday in Valencia he did a fantastic job.
"There are many other circuits and only he knows if he has physical limitations on other circuits, so if this continues, then it will be another step."
Permane said the test passed without any major issues.
"I did not know, and I don't think he knew, whether he would be physically able to drive and, most of all, whether he would be able to drive a lot [of laps]," added Permane.
"He drove different cars, he drove simulators, drove a GP3 car earlier this year, in preparation for the test day, but we didn't really know what his limitations would be.
"Honestly, it went very well. He was quick. He did long runs, shorter runs, qualifying runs, we did race simulations, and everything went very well."
Pushed for the next step, Permane said: "I think it is too early to comment.
"We are still in touch, we have talked about everything we could do in the future.
"All I can say is that nothing else (further running) is scheduled at this moment, but I would not say that we will not do something again in the future."
Read more: Kubica - On the Formula 1 comeback trail?