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Robert Kubica: Polish driver completes first Williams F1 test

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Robert Kubica completed the first of two tests for Williams on Wednesday as the team assess whether he can make a return to Formula 1.

The Pole has not raced in F1 since a rally accident in 2011 left him with only partial movement in his right arm.

The ex-BMW Sauber and Renault driver had “a successful day at Silverstone” driving a 2014 car, Williams said.

Kubica, 32, is next due to test for the team at the Hungaroring but Williams have not said when that will be.

That test is expected to take place in the days before next weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

World champion Nico Rosberg, now a member of Kubica’s management team, said last weekend that there were no doubts about his ability to return to F1 following his three tests with Renault this summer.

But Renault opted not to pursue their interest in Kubica after running him for a day in their 2017 car at the Hungaroring, three days after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The French team have not gone into details about their decision but said they had “unanswered questions” about Kubica.

They have since signed Spaniard Carlos Sainz for 2018 as team-mate to German Nico Hulkenberg, who was already contracted to Renault.

Kubica is one of a number of names in the frame to partner Canadian Lance Stroll at Williams next year, including current race driver Felipe Massa, reserve driver Paul Di Resta and Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein.

Williams’ test at the Hungaroring will be for two days, with Kubica driving one day and Di Resta, 31, the other.

The Scot is being used as a benchmark for Kubica and has only an outside chance of a race seat in 2018.

The two main contenders for the seat are Kubica and Massa. Kubica is likely to get the drive – assuming he feels himself he is capable of doing himself justice – if Williams believe that he can return at close to his previous form. If not, Massa is the most likely option.

Kubica, who won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix for BMW Sauber, was about to embark on his second season with Renault when he suffered his fateful accident more than six years ago.

A metal roadside barrier pierced the car he was driving and left him with a partially severed right arm and multiple fractures.

He competed in rallying from 2013-15 but this year decided to pursue a return to circuit racing after realising over the winter for the first time that it might be possible.

BBC Sport – Formula 1

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