F1 | Haas Aiming to Secure Kubica As Test and Reserve Driver

Haas F1 Team Principle Gunther Steiner has confirmed he is very interested in signing Robert Kubica next season - but much of the decision rests with the driver rather than the team.

Robert Kubica has endured a nightmare few years of recovery since his 2011 rally accident while contracted to the Renault Sport F1 team, severely damaging his hand and arm, leaving many to wonder if the Polish star still has what it takes to make it in the top flight of professional motorsport.

In something of a fairytale story for the driver, 2019 would mark a return to Formula One with the once great Williams team, but the story quickly turned into a nightmare as Williams have built arguably the worse car in their history - lumbering the driver firmly at the foot of the field, struggling to fight against his rookie British teammate George Russell.

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Despite the obvious issues that Kubica has faced this year, it appears his stock remains high within the Formula One community, with Haas F1 leading the charge to secure a signature of the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner for the coming season, albeit a potential reserve / test driver role for the American squad.

“I really want to bring Robert to us, but I have to offer him something that will be interesting to him. Also in the context of the future,” The hilariously lovable Steiner said when speaking with Polish broadcaster TVP.​

“We would love Kubica to help us develop the car,” the Austrian added. “We know he is really good at that because he worked with several of our engineers from his time at Renault. Everyone appreciates his skills very highly. I am negotiating with Kubica and I hope to welcome him on board soon. The negotiations are very complex because there is much to determine and we have to be his best option"
Although Haas have been clear in their interest in the driver, rumour suggests that other teams are also in discussions with Kubica, as well as opportunities to continue his racing career outside of Formula One - with DTM having been strongly liked with the 34-year-old for the coming season.

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Such an important decision about the next steps of his career are undoubtedly leaving plenty to think about for the fan favourite, and Steiner even admits that the decision about 2020 rests more with the Kubica than team, having seemingly placed his cards on the table to the current Williams man.

“I hope to announce the name of our third driver soon, but I would say it depends more on the driver than on us at the moment,” Steiner added.​

Do you think Kubica has what it takes to remain in Formula One for 2020? Can the Pole do enough to secure a return to racing in 2021? Let us know your thoughts!

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Sporadik

25RPM
I have nothing against Robert, but I suspected Williams signed him for similar reasons, not just to reserve drive but to help with engineering and testing due to his experience and tenure in the sport. The car is still garbage (not saying its his fault), he also worked with Renault and look at their car (also not saying its his fault).

For how unpredictable and hard to drive the Haas car is I wonder if this is a good move for Haas. I'm aware they need someone for the 3rd seat and they're not doing the greatest financially, but I question whether he'll be a help at all to the team.

I guess why not throw **** at the wall for next season to see what sticks as the cars are changing in 2021¿
 

ZeroRisk

2000RPM
Premium
I hope he stays as I like him as a driver and as a person. He's been through a lot and to be able to make a proper come back in a decent car would be the fairy story a lot of fans wanted. Although it's not like he's in with a bunch of monkeys. It's incredibly intense at the sharp end of the grid.

Which does beg the question as to whether he actually would be better off in DTM as that's just as tough to compete in?
 

RasmusP

5000RPM
Premium
I guess he had 3 goals for his career over the last years:
1. Be a full F1 driver again. Achieved
2. Have fun racing again. Not achieved
3. Stay with F1 until he will move on to other things on his own will. Not achieved

I'm not sure what's more important to him. Battling with others and winning fights on the track (dtm, GT3 etc) or sticking to F1 even if it's just as 3rd driver...

Maybe he can negotiate something at Haas for 2021 and enjoy some fights somewhere else for 2020 :)
 
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Tylda

50RPM
I guess he had 3 goals for his career over the last years:
1. Be a full F1 driver again. Achieved
2. Have fun racing again. Not achieved
3. Stay with F1 until he will move on to other things on his own will. Not achieved

I'm not sure what's more important to him. Battling with others and winning fights on the track (dtm, GT3 etc) or sticking to F1 even if it's just as 3rd driver...

Maybe he can negotiate something at Haas for 2021 and enjoy some fights somewhere else for 2020 :)
In interviews for polish media he says that racing is priority for next season so there's nothing to worry about. He still can be test/reserve driver for F1 team and race in DTM/GT3/LMP etc.
 
Being a test driver is a big task. And if HASS has a issue with drivers like this year or a injury punting them out he may drive a few Grandprix. The car is slightly better than the Williams. But it was probably the only seat available. And Williams has a history of success in the sport so its a prestigious name.

The HASS team use non performance components from Ferrari there engine builder. This is something Williams should have done so they focus on airo and making the car perform. A lesson that Williams had to learn the hard way.
 

Ricoow

Assetto Corsa Competizione Club Staff
Staff
Premium
Being out qualified 19-0 and also being beaten 14-2 in races that both Williams finished, I am not sure if retaining Kubica in any way in F1 would be preferable for any team.
It probably was a good move to get him back from a marketing perspective, but now that he failed to show any potence he shouldn't be in any F1 car IMO
 

LudByte

1RPM
I have nothing against Robert, but I suspected Williams signed him for similar reasons, not just to reserve drive but to help with engineering and testing due to his experience and tenure in the sport. The car is still garbage (not saying its his fault), he also worked with Renault and look at their car (also not saying its his fault).

For how unpredictable and hard to drive the Haas car is I wonder if this is a good move for Haas. I'm aware they need someone for the 3rd seat and they're not doing the greatest financially, but I question whether he'll be a help at all to the team.

I guess why not throw **** at the wall for next season to see what sticks as the cars are changing in 2021¿
Williams also signed him for the Orlen sponsorship, which brought in a lot of money which they didn't spend well. As much of a Wiliams fan as I am, I can not stand a team who not only fails to produce a stable backmarker car due to poor leadership, but also denies one of their drivers the ability to perform on track when they actually do with the boat of a car they have (TWO forced dnfs and one BS late race pit stop for kubica to make sure russell finishes ahead). On your Reanult comment, Kubica historically was never truly liked/believed in by renault, he raced for theit junior formula teams and they heavily favoured his teammates over him, and he still rose above them to make the sauber team. I assume the same feelings remained when he made the renault move in F1. Haas could use his insight and money, especially since they actually have a proper car compared to Williams. Plus Grosjean-Kubica relations might be good from the pre-2011 days.
 

LudByte

1RPM
In interviews for polish media he says that racing is priority for next season so there's nothing to worry about. He still can be test/reserve driver for F1 team and race in DTM/GT3/LMP etc.
That is if his team allows him too, many contracts dont allow drivers to ski or race in other series due to risk of injury. Thats sort of how Kubica got his injury in the first place, Renault allowed him to Rally, but ferrari didnt, so he pushed as much rallying as possible pre-2011, and the rest we know.
 

Tylda

50RPM
That is if his team allows him too, many contracts dont allow drivers to ski or race in other series due to risk of injury. Thats sort of how Kubica got his injury in the first place, Renault allowed him to Rally, but ferrari didnt, so he pushed as much rallying as possible pre-2011, and the rest we know.
If team doesn't allow him for racing then he'll not sign a contract. For him priority is racing on competetive level not being a test driver.
 
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