Hamilton wants 'special' Kubica to return
29 July 2017 – Lewis Hamilton says that he wants to see Robert Kubica make a full-time return to Formula 1 in 2018, describing him as a "real special" driver and "natural talent".
Kubica raced in Formula 1 between 2006 and 2010, winning in Canada in 2008, but his career was cut short after he sustained severe arm injuries in a rally crash in early 2011.
He returned to competitive action on the rally stage, taking the 2013 WRC-2 title, and a handful of top 10 WRC finishes, before participating in a few sportscar events last year.
Kubica recently made two private F1 test outings with Renault, in a 2012-spec car, surrounding an appearance at Goodwood, and is adamant that he can still perform at a high level.
In the latest step of this push to assess whether or not a return is possible, Kubica will take part in the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test, piloting the R.S.17 on Wednesday.
Hamilton, who raced against Kubica in Formula Renault 2000 and Formula 3, before both graduated to Formula 1, has thrown his support behind the Pole's mission.
"Robert's one of the quickest drivers I've ever raced against," said Hamilton.
"If he was still racing today he would be up in contention for a world title, if not he would have won one.
"He's got raw, natural talent, which I think as a sport it's a shame we don't have here with us.
"Not a lot of great, great, great drivers come through.
"You have some drivers that are much better than the rest, but still not the greatest, and then you have real special drivers like him."
Hamilton added that he will follow Kubica's latest test with interest.
"I'm really happy that he's doing the test, and I'll have a keen eye on how he's doing, how the test is going," commented Hamilton, who will not be on track.
"I think it will be great if he's able to [return], if he can, physically."
Kubica led the 2008 title race after his win in Montréal, while driving for BMW Sauber, sitting four points clear of Hamilton (McLaren) and Felipe Massa (Ferrari), before his and the team's challenge faded.