Medical specialists will examine Robert Kubica before he is granted an FIA super license. That is the news from Abu Dhabi, the 2017 season finale that is being attended by FIA president Jean Todt.
Seven years after almost losing his right arm in a rallying crash, former BMW and Renault driver Kubica is now on the cusp of signing a deal to return to F1 next year with Williams.
"Yes, we are working with him now to assess whether his past injuries will affect his ability to perform in formula one," Williams boss Paddy Lowe said in Abu Dhabi.
Kubica, 32, will test Williams' 2017 car next week: "I would say that until now there have been no problems," said Lowe. "Let's see what happens next week. Williams is considering other candidates and we will not make our decision this weekend or even next week."
That could be because the FIA needs to agree that Kubica, who has limited use of his arm, is fit and safe to return: "We have relevant experts and I have no doubt that all necessary checks at every level will be done if the situation demands it," said FIA president Todt. "The doctors would decide if he gets a super license."
But even on a commercial level, Kubica's chances appear strong. Blick, a Swiss newspaper, claims the Pole would bring Polish oil company Lotos with him as a sponsor. However, Williams will also test Renault reserve Sergey Sirotkin in Abu Dhabi next week, who is backed by the lucrative Russian programme SMP Racing.
Lowe said of the Russian driver: "We have not worked with Sergey before, so let's see what this leads to -- a short or a long-term cooperation. In any case, I think he is an interesting driver."
But Toto Wolff, who is pushing Williams to take Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein, insists that Kubica is the clear favourite: "I think it is clear that Robert is the priority at Williams," he told Auto Bild. "I think he deserves the opportunity, even if there is a small chance that it will not work for him. But nobody wants to see that."
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