Robert Kubica completes further Renault Formula 1 test
Robert Kubica's comeback to Formula 1 from life-changing injuries moved a step closer after a second test for Renault on Wednesday.
The test at France's Paul Ricard track was aimed at evaluating whether the Pole can make a comeback despite having only partial movement in his right arm.
The 32-year-old completed 90 trouble-free laps, with a Renault spokesman saying that he performed "completely".
Kubica told L'Equipe newspaper a return would present "physically, no problem".
He added that it was too early to say whether he could make a full comeback from the injuries suffered in a rallying accident in February 2011.
Kubica's run at the track in the south of France was his second test for Renault in two months.
An initial test in Valencia last month was said to be a "one off" but he impressed sufficiently that the team scheduled a second run "to assess his capabilities to return to the highest level of competition".
Kubica, who won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix for BMW Sauber, was regarded as one of the fastest drivers in F1 before his career was cut short before his second season with Renault.
"It is necessary to go step by step," he told L'Equipe, the only media outlet allowed into the test.
"I have come a long way. Don't forget that. My doubts about my capacities have disappeared with these two days of tests. I am no longer afraid of not being at the level but there remains a way to go."
Is Kubica capable of returning to F1?
The main questions over Kubica's ability to make a comeback surround whether he has sufficient movement in his right arm and hand.
Can he negotiate the tightest corners? Do the atrophied muscles in the limb have enough strength?
Kubica insisted his left hand could "compensate" for the weakness in his right and that his "physical limitations do not influence my driving".
He added: "I am doing everything to maximise my chances. But I don't know what will happen in the future. I don't want to come back for nothing. I want to return at a high level.
"I have not yet driven a current F1 car. I could not be ready for Silverstone [this weekend's British Grand Prix]. It would take me two days of tests in a current car. That would accelerate my chances 1,000%."
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said it was "too early to say" and that plenty more testing would need to be done to assess Kubica's fitness.
A run in a 2017 car could come in the official F1 two-day test at the Hungaroring on 1-2 August - the Tuesday and Wednesday after the Hungarian Grand Prix - but Abiteboul said it was "too early to say if Robert will be with us in Budapest".
He added: "He has so far only driven an old car, with a detuned engine, with demonstration tyres. He has not been submitted to the stresses of a race nor run with other cars."