Cyril Abiteboul continues to downplay Robert Kubica’s chances of returning to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in Formula 1, but admits there appears to be nothing preventing the Pole from making a welcome return to the sport.
Kubica has twice tested in a 2012 Lotus E20 in recent weeks as he analyses whether he can return to the sport he last raced in 2010, just prior to a horror rally crash that was thought to have ended his Formula 1 career, and Abiteboul says the Pole still has everything he possessed before his crash, including his speed and consistency behind the wheel.
However, Abiteboul says testing a 2012 car is a lot different to the current breed of cars, and although Kubica is enthusiastic, he wants to keep everyone’s feet on the ground as they work out the possible next steps, although he stops short in saying the thirty-two-year-old is not in contention for a race seat next season.
“It is not like a test that you are passing as an exam,” said Abiteboul. “But we have not seen any obvious roadblocks.
“[However] testing in this circumstance and testing in a modern car are something completely different. Again, this situation is complex – we are not doing it for PR purposes even though we see it is creating a lot of media expectation and focus.
“That is not what we are doing, we care so much for Robert than this. What I can tell you is he is still quick, he is still very consistent and more importantly he has this energy and this drive, this enthusiasm that he has always had.
“It is too early to talk about next steps, I don’t want to add to speculation. Right now, the focus is on getting the most out of the overall line-up and package we have. Then we will think about 2018 in due course, which is not now.”