Robert Kubica has said that his test drive in the DTM series Mercedes at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia is nothing more than an exploratory outing.
This run will be a learning experience for Kubica as he discovers how he copes in the cockpit of a race car after a long break resulting from the injuries he sustained in a crash in early 2011.
On 6 February that year, the 28-year old was involved in a serious rally accident where he suffered multiple fractures in his leg, arm and hand. In recent months, however, Kubica has taken part in various national rallies, signalling a possible return to circuit racing. The Mercedes test drive is the first time he will be placed under actual test conditions since his time in F1, but he insists that it will have no direct bearing on whether he races in the series.
“It's still too early to make any statements about my future because of this one test,” Kubica said, “I'm just looking forward to tomorrow and we'll see what happens after that."
"I'm really pleased that Mercedes-Benz is giving me the opportunity to test their DTM car and I'm looking forward to getting acclimatised to a race car again. It will be in proper testing conditions, on a permanent circuit, and it's important because the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupe has good levels of downforce. It's still too early to make any statements about my future because of this one test,” he also commented.
The Polish driver began his relationship with Mercedes-Benz in 2004, where he drove a Mercedes-powered Dallara in the F3 Euroseries. During that season, Kubica took three podiums and obtained 53 points, before taking second place at the F3 Grand Prix on the Guia street circuit in Macau. Before his accident, Kubica competed in 76 F1 races, winning for the first and only time in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
Although the former BMW-Sauber and Lotus Renault driver may not be thinking about his future, new Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is. The Austrian said Kubica is still some time away from being in a position to control F1 machinery, before continuing to tell a media teleconference that, “If we see that he is doing well in a proper race car with downforce, I think there are still some physical constraints to drive a single-seater with his elbow and arm.”
"I think we all would love to see Robert doing well in a F1 car in the future but that is definitely too early at this stage." Wolff added.
by Joe Searle