(Reuters) - Former F1 driver Robert Kubica completed 114 laps of the Valencia circuit in a Mercedes touring car on Thursday in the most demanding test so far of his return from a near-fatal rally accident two years ago.
The 28-year-old Pole, who has not competed in Formula One since he was at Renault in the 2010 season, said he was pleased with his performance in the DTM (German Touring Car championship) racer.
Kubica, a grand prix winner who suffered severe arm and hand injuries in February 2011 when he crashed while competing in a minor rally in Italy, covered 456.5 km in changeable conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
He said he ”felt very comfortable in the car, even though after my long break it meant adjusting to the high down force that a state-of-the-art DTM race car produces.
“I‘m very pleased with my performance...and had no problems whatsoever in the car,” he added.
The Pole, who competed in some minor rallies last year as part of his rehabilitation, said before the test that he was still hoping for a return to Formula One eventually.
”I still believe I can come back,“ he told F1 Racing magazine. ”With the damage I have, I cannot achieve 100 percent of what I had before but I hope to improve.
“It’s not just a dream. Right now I have limitations driving single-seaters but they are less than they look from the outside,” he added.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer