Robert Kubica has confirmed that he recently completed some test work in Mercedes’ Formula One simulator as part of his recovery programme.
Kubica competed in the sport between 2006 and 2010 before suffering a heavy accident whilst rallying during the off-season. His right hand required a great deal of surgical reconstruction and physio, and his racing career appeared to be over. However, the Polish driver returned to rallying last year, and he even managed to win some events by a colossal margin, spurning rumors that an F1 comeback could be possible. In an interview with Autosport, Kubica has revealed that he did do some simulator work, but that it should not be read into.
“I can say yes, I was there, but I cannot say how many times or how many laps I did,” Kubica said.
His ties with Mercedes were strengthened after he tested a touring car for the German manufacturer earlier this year, and Toto Wolff has said that he would love to work with Kubica again should the opportunity arise.
Although this is an encouraging sign about Kubica’s recovery, the one-time race winner is unsure whether he will do more work for the team.
“Maybe. I don’t know. It’s not that every time someone sees me at Heathrow airport I’m going to Mercedes.”
This is a good sign that Kubica still has the desire to race competitively, but quite whether he is ready to make a return to single seaters, let alone Formula One, remains to be seen.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.