Renault engineer Ricardo Penteado says that any doubts the team had about Robert Kubica’s physical abilities were quickly dispelled last week.
Kubica completed the first stage of his F1 comeback when he spent a day testing Renault’s new-spec RS17 at F1’s in-season test at Budapest last week.
Competitive times and consistency behind the wheel supported the overall view that the 32-year-old was indeed up to the task of driving this year’s faster and more demanding F1 cars.
“You can forget that question — he has no problem to drive the hybrid cars,” Penteado told Brazil’s Globo.
While everyone who witnessed the test was throughly impressed with the Pole’s performance and laps times, Penteado insisted Kubica could have done even better.
“The most important thing is that Kubica did not have fuel for just one lap,” he said.
“The other thing that stands out is the number of laps he did — the equivalent of two races,” Penteado added.
“It was 40 degrees and Robert did not get out of the car complaining of exhaustion.”
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Given the lack of muscle in his injured right arm, it was feared that Kubica’s control behind the wheel could be hindered.
But Penteado said Kubica was able to drive the Renault with only minimal changes to the layout of the steering wheel.
“He had no difficulty,” he said.
“We asked for a lot of changes from him via the steering wheel, and he did everything within the normal time.”
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