FP1 conundrum for Haas if Kubica joins

Shahida Jacobs
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean having a chat

Haas could find themselves with a Friday conundrum if they employ Robert Kubica as a development driver next year.

After a difficult season with Williams, Kubica has confirmed that he will leave the Grove squad at the end of the season and it appears unlikely that he will get race seat at another team.

He has been linked with a test driver role at Haas, but he has made it clear that he wants track time with his future F1 employers.

“I hardly see myself just being closed in a dark room, doing laps in the simulator,” the Pole is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I am not excluding it but it will have to be a, lets say, combined thing with some other stuff.

“So that’s probably why also it’s taking a bit more time and all the puzzles, they have to fit together, which sometimes is not easy.

“In order to do [a] proper job also on the simulator you have to have time in the car, otherwise if you haven’t even driven the real car you can do a job, but at a certain level and it requires knowledge about what is going on in reality.”

RaceFans.net reported earlier in October that Haas would offer a “limited number of Friday practice sessions”, but their drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have made it clear that they are not keen on making way.

Asked if he would be happy to give up his car in FP1 outings, Grosjean said: “No.”

He added: “I haven’t heard anything [about a Kubica deal]. Giving up Friday morning is never ideal.

“It depends where you want to fight and what are you missions. We have never seen Ferrari Red Bull or Mercedes giving Fridays because they want to win.

“Every session is important. If it’s got to be, it will be it, but in terms of performance it’s not ideal.”

DTM driver Pietro Fittipaldi currently fulfils the simulator role for Haas and Magnussen questioned whether or not they need Kubica.

“We already have Pietro Fittipaldi and he is already doing a good job in the simulator,” the Dane said. “He’s a good team member. So I think we’ve got that covered already. That’s not something I’m involved with, that decision.

“I don’t like it when you get taken out in FP1. FP1 is valuable. It’s just those extra set of tyres you get, they are valuable.

“You don’t necessarily need the time, we could put all of those tyres into two sessions rather than three. It would be fine. I would prefer not to [be taken out for FP1].”

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