SPIELBERG, Austria, July 6 (Reuters) - Polish driver Robert Kubica, whose Formula One career looked over when he partially severed his forearm in a 2011 rally accident, will have a second test with Renault after an impressive return to the cockpit in June.
The French manufacturer said on Thursday that the test, at the Le Castellet circuit that will host next year’s French Grand Prix, would be designed to “extensively evaluate his driving capabilities”.
There is increasing speculation that the 32-year-old race winner could be in the frame to replace Britain’s Jolyon Palmer, who is yet to score a point in eight races this season.
Kubica won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix with BMW-Sauber and joined Renault in 2010. His arm injury, in a rally he entered for fun in Italy, came before the start of the 2011 season.
Kubica told Britain’s Auto Express at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed event that his chances of a Formula One comeback had risen to “80 or 90 percent” after he completed 115 laps of the Valencia circuit.
That had been his first outing in a Formula One car since pre-season testing in 2011.
Renault Sport Racing managing director Cyril Abiteboul said in a statement at the Austrian Grand Prix that the first test had been merely “to let Robert get reacquainted with the feel of driving again.
“This second test will be to assess his capabilities to return to the highest level of competition,” he said.
“There are still many hurdles for him to overcome, and he knows better than anyone else that only his performance will determine if he can one day return to being a professional driver.” (Editing by Louise Ireland)
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