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Robert Kubica admits F1 comeback chances are ‘very slight’

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Robert Kubica has conceded his chances of making a full-time return to Formula 1 are “very slight” despite enjoying three test appearances with Renault this year and being linked with a drive at Williams for 2017.

Kubica raced in F1 between 2006 and 2010, claiming one grand prix victory in Canada in 2008, only to have his single-seater career put on hold after suffering severe injuries to his right arm and hand in a rally accident before the 2011 season.

The Pole returned to motorsport in rallying before embarking on a number of private single-seater tests to judge his capabilities, leading to two private F1 tests with Renault and ultimately an appearance in the collective test following the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Kubica put in an impressive display, but Renault admitted there were still question marks regarding his capabilities behind the wheel, with the team eventually signing Carlos Sainz Jr. to race alongside Nico Hulkenberg in 2018.

Kubica has reportedly been targeted by Williams as an option for 2018, but he admitted in an interview with the FIA’s AUTO magazine that his chances of coming back full-time were very slim.

“I am very realistic and I know that the possibility of me returning full-time to racing in Formula 1 is very slight,” Kubica said.

“Every day I discover my new limits, but I always hoped I’d at least get the chance to give it a go. I’ve done a lot of kilometers in the simulator and I’ve driven in other categories, but I knew only driving a Formula 1 car would give me those special feelings again, and it proved to be true.

“The 6th of June, the day I drove at Valencia, was one of the best days of my life, even if I didn’t win anything or stand on the podium.

“It only took me a few laps to get some amazing feelings, which made me realize why I love this sport so much. I don’t get emotional easily but that day I really did.

“I realized that driving a Formula 1 car was the thing that made me happy and I finally felt at peace.”

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool