Robert Kubica wants to focus solely on F1 race return

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The last few years have seen several famous comebacks to Formula One: Michael Schumacher returned in 2010 after three years out of the sport, with Kimi Raikkonen’s 2012 comeback provoking more flair and emotions on track than any words uttered to the press. Adrian Sutil, too, has returned after a year’s hiatus to less fanfare.

The next driver who could be on the comeback trail is Polish driver Robert Kubica, perhaps one of the lost stars of this generation.

Kubica told Autosport his sole focus is a return to an full-time F1 race seat for 2014. He was most recently in Mercedes’ F1 simulator.

“I’m not able to come back into single-seaters at the moment, and my vision is not to come back in saloon cars on the circuit at this stage,” said Kubica, 28. “There is not any guarantee, there is no percentage to say whether I will come back or not, but it’s also not 100 percent that I will not be back in F1. I will try my best.”

He admitted DTM cars have some appeal later in his career, but not at the moment. Ex-Marussia and Toyota driver Timo Glock has taken up residence in the German championship this season, which starts this weekend in Hockenheim.

Kubica’s rally accident in 2011 cost him his F1 career to this point. His stock was boosted after a sincerely impressive 2010 where he dragged his geriatric Renault to places it shouldn’t have been. His best year, statistically, was in 2008 when he tied for third in the World Championship with Raikkonen, and won his first and only Grand Prix for BMW Sauber at the Canadian Grand Prix.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.