Thursday 3 August at 10:35 :
Aug.3 (GMM) F1's past and future merged in Hungary on Wednesday as Robert Kubica made his bow in the 2017 Renault car at the post-grand prix test.
But the 32-year-old Pole's day got off to a literally bumpy start, when he clipped the garage wall and brought the 'Nico Hulkenberg' hoarding that was fixed above to the ground.
"It was one of the most stupid mistakes you can make in formula one," he smiled. "It made me realise how much wider these cars are."
Indeed, Kubica - permanently injured in a 2011 rallying crash - recently tested the much narrower 2012 car but on Wednesday was only narrowly slower than Jolyon Palmer's qualifying time of last weekend.
As for what comes next, he said: "I don't know. All I know is that tomorrow I'm getting on a plane and going home.
"I have not made a secret of trying to come back, but I'm also a realist. If it does not work out, I cannot be disappointed.
"Three months ago, I never thought I could be part of an official test," Kubica said.
Some of the dozens of Polish reporters at the Hungaroring claim that the next time F1 sees Kubica will be at Spa after the summer break, but the 2008 Canadian grand prix winner is not so sure.
"We have to be realistic. The way back is long.
"For sure I want other ways to test. After the heat and on one of the most challenging tracks here, I know I would go well elsewhere. Nico Hulkenberg said to me that if I can drive here, I can probably drive anywhere.
"I do not have any pain although I'm tired after eight hours of driving.
"Maybe something else will come now and I hope, but it's already a great feeling to be honest. I need to keep going step by step and if I have a chance I'll give it my best shot. If not, I'll look for something else," he added.
F1's future was also on display over the two days in Hungary, with Lando Morris driving the McLaren as quickly as Fernando Alonso had last weekend, and Charles Leclerc shining for Ferrari on Tuesday.