Robert Kubica completed 115 laps in Valencia in a private test today, sparking suggestions that he could be on for a full-time return. The test marks the first time since his 2011 horror rally crash that he has driven an F1 car.
The Pole took the Lotus E20 around the Ricardo Tormo circuit, racking up 115 laps. The 32-year-old last raced in F1 in 2010 for Renault. Years ago, he was tipped as a future world champion, showing raw speed and an ability to compete.
He has one win to his name, achieved in Canada 2008. The victory came one year after he had one of the biggest crashes in 21st century Formula 1, around the same circuit.
Kubica was retained by Renault for the 2011 season but was forced to pull out after a freak rally incident. At the Ronde di Andora rally, a guardrail impaled the car and made contact with Kubica, meaning he had to undergo hours of surgery which resulted in a partial amputation of his forearm.
After the incident, Fernando Alonso stated: "For me, the best driver is Robert Kubica. When he returns, which will surely be soon, I'm sure he will continue to be the best driver." Speculation is mounting that he could be in the frame to replace Jolyon Palmer who is yet to score a point this season.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing