Kubica putting in the hours to get back to F1
Renault may have to wait until mid-June for a clearer picture of Robert Kubica's Formula One prospects, even if their Polish driver is putting in the hours to come back from injury.
Kubica spent two months in hospital in Italy after suffering arm, leg and hand injuries in a life-threatening rally accident in early February.
The Pole, a hugely popular race winner considered a potential future champion, returned to his home in Monaco late last month.
"I spent an hour on the phone this week with him and he's obviously very relieved to be back home, relieved to get back to a normal life even if he has to work every day on the rehabilitation," Renault team boss Eric Boullier told reporters at the Turkish Grand Prix.
"He's working very hard, six to seven hours per day, and I think we should know more let's say by mid-June what to expect and when."
The Frenchman, who recruited Germany's Nick Heidfeld to stand in for Kubica, said the Pole's recovery must not be rushed.
"The injury was quite bad. Bones and muscles are easy to fix, if I may say this, but nerves are a different story.
"You need to be cautious in the development of this. So this is why they need to take time, do it properly and monitor and handle it properly."
Kubica's Russian teammate Vitaly Petrov and other drivers spoke separately about how much they missed racing against him and hoped he would make a complete recovery.
"He knew exactly what to do and all the guys in the team believed in him and he was always funny and very, very quick," said Petrov.
"What we saw last year, he was one of the best drivers. So we all miss him. We know he just left hospital; now he has a long time to recover, so we all support him and we are waiting for him. I hope that this year we can see him in the paddock, just to say hello."
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 world champion and an old rival from teenage karting days, echoed that.
"He's a great talent in the sport and he definitely deserves to be here so I hope that he has a very, very fast recovery and no doubt he has the right people behind him to help him recover in the best way," said the Briton.