Robert Kubica is confident that he can drive a 2017 car as he attempts to return full-time to Formula 1. The Pole is rumoured to be set for a test in a 2017 car, following the Hungarian Grand Prix at the second in-season test of the year.
So far, Kubica has driven the Lotus E20, the car Lotus competed with in the 2012 season. Last June, Kubica completed 115 laps in Valencia and then another day long test at Paul Ricard to test his "capabilities" of returning.
However, the new generation of cars introduced in 2017 have proven to be much tougher to drive due to the high levels of downforce they produce. One issue that may hinder Kubica is turning the car in tight corners, as his right forearm is partially severed.
"The differences are mainly in cornering performance, but this is only a matter of habit and work," he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. "If the others can do it, I do not see why I shouldn't be able to as well.
"So if before Renault had the courage and confidence to let me try, let's say I can match that now. 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. 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," Kubica added.
Speaking on the future of Kubica, Renault's Cyril Abiteboul said: "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, and then we'll be thinking about 2018 in due course."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing