Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Kubica could get practice outings in 2020 Haas deal

2020 F1 season

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Robert Kubica is considering a role at Haas which would involve driving for them in practice sessions during the 2020 F1 season.

Having ruled himself out of a race seat at Williams next year, Kubica’s options to continue racing in F1 are limited. He is believed to be looking at a development driver role in the sport next year while racing in another championship, possibly the DTM.

Petrochemical firm and Williams sponsor PKN Orlen, which will sever its ties with the squad at the end of the year, has held talks with rival F1 teams about sponsorship deals and opportunities for Kubica according to Polish media reports.

RaceFans understands one potential deal for Orlen would involve joining Haas as a title sponsor. The team is in need of a replacement following the early ending of its acrimonious tie-up with energy drink brand Rich Energy.

Kubica’s arrival would be a boost to Haas’s nascent simulator programme, which Pietro Fittipaldi has worked on this year. The team would also give Kubica the opportunity to participate in a limited number of Friday practice sessions.

Steiner confirmed his interest in Kubica but refused to comment further.

Racing Point is also understood to have met with Orlen over a potential deal. However it already has SportPesa in place as its title sponsor for next year. Orlen are also believed to have approached McLaren, who are currently backed by Brazilian petrochemical firm Petrobras.

Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
Would Kubica’s 2019 return have gone better at another team?
Kubica is believed to favour joining a team which could offer him a chance to race for them in 2021. He has indicated he intends to continue racing in another category in 2020 if he is not able to find an F1 race seat next year.

“It will a lot depend how busy and what I would be doing next year,” Kubica said at Suzuka. “Let’s wait a bit to see the outcome of what would be possible for me next year from a racing point of view and then we’ll see.”

“If I am not racing somewhere it would be my decision,” he added. “I’m pretty confident that if I want to race I will be racing somewhere.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Kubica could get practice outings in 2020 Haas deal”

  1. I love the guy, one of the best drivers I’ve saw coming up, but why?

  2. “Let’s wait a bit to see the outcome of what would be possible for me next year from a racing point of view and then we’ll see.”

    If I didn’t know better I’d think he’s going to force india!

    1. :D So many nice puns in your comment.

      I’d still like to see him in another team. Haas is hardly decent, but compared to Williams they are championship contenders.

      It’s best for his career that he’d be in a spec racing series, proving he is decent if he is. In Williams he is either back-marking or retiring due to part shortage.

      Useless data.

    2. As good a line as that is…Stroll’s dad owns the team so he’s not going anywhere and Perez has committed to the team for the next 3 years. Racing Point is not an option.

      1. Eheh, I know, not realistic, just couldn’t resist!

      2. My theory is: Son of Dad is disappointed. He is beaten by Perez cruelty. He realised that he will not be champion of the world. He proved as solid driver… doesn’t have to be considered as pay driver. If he is disappointed, bored… seat will be free. He is not confirmed. Perhaps he doesn’t have to… but – he is not officially confirmed.

  3. God knows they need someone in the car with the technical knowledge he seems to have.

    1. Might also free up some setup smarts so they could, if they wanted, replace Grosjean @hugh11, after all, wasn’t that implicitly given as the main reason for him being there, that he was the one that could help them sort of get something of an understanding of what the car was doing? I gather Magnussen is better at staying on track (if needed by punting others off), but perhaps not so solid with developing (a setup for) the car.

      1. The real reason was that they couldn’t afford Hulkenberg though.

        1. I can’t but help wonder if next year is going to be a year of pain for Steiner. Maybe he should have paid the extra Hulkenberg wanted.

      2. (if needed by punting others off)

        Thanks for that laugh, @bosyber 😊

    2. I don’t know. If Kubica is at about healed and able enough to be comparable with the young himself, then Russel is a very likely world champion. Then it’s interesting from Mercedes to ice Russell for another year at Williams. I think he performed very well this season, no errors, he finished almost every race yet. So i think, Russell is very good, but Kubica lost quite much at that accident and not got it back, he’s a super talent, so he still can drive safe at F1. Maybe he’s struggling more at race distances than qualy laps, or short stints, racing for that long is still very demanding.

  4. “Petrochemical firm and Williams sponsor PKN Orlen, which will sever its ties with the squad at the end of the year…”

    Brilliant. That is all.

  5. Kubica helping out as a development driver might make sense. When you know both your drivers are really not that good and you can’t spend the money on a proper driver.

    Still I can’t seriously see how any race team would still be interested in a full season with him. So is Orlen actually trying to get Kubica in a seat or are they simply looking to be sponsors? Don’t see McLaren or Racing point being interested, but Haas needs a title sponsor and probably some more too.

  6. ”Kubica is believed to favour joining a team which could offer him a chance to race for them in 2021.”
    – I doubt, he’d get back to a full-time F1-drive after another hiatus from competing in the category.

    1. Money speaks, and even kubica knows this. Even with his Terrible return season, kubica has turned out to be gold for anyone sponsoring him. Fans love a fairytale story, kubica beat Hamilton and rosberg and contemporaries in karting and junior series and was a driver lined up to win a wdc in the right car, but he had his accident fans still love him. . PKN Orlen have made a killing supporting kubica, such that they are willing to up their investment. I think if grosjean doesn’t perform in first few races next season, haas will seat kubica, steiner met with Orlen today.

      1. that’d be some kind of relief – seeing Kubica’s overtaking both of Williams’ cars driving one-handed for another team…

      2. The Orlen deal seemed to be more about internal Polish politics (given it helped quell criticism of the current Prime Minister of Poland for making rather insulting comments about Kubica in the past).

        The Polish Prime Minister has linked the Orlen deal to national politics by commenting about how he is “looking out for other Poles” by promoting Kubica, using it to undo the damage from his earlier comments about Kubica and using it to fuel further nationalist sentiment in Poland.

        1. Anon is left wing politician. Let’s explain what PM said. Before Kubica had accident current Prime Minister was President of WBK Santander Bank Poland. Kubica signed contract with Ferrari and Santander global insisted on Santander Poland to pay 40 mil $ for sponsoring Ferrari… so president said: “oh dear… this is very good that Kubica broke arm because I don’t have to pay 40 mil $”. That’s it. Now he is not President of Bank but Prime Minister and he said that Poland should support best polish sport star. Kubica said officially – he doesn’t feel offended. All story. Do not eat leftist agenda.

  7. Let me get this straight. Haas have 2 drivers that they don’t listen to when it comes to development, they tend to crash alot (mostly into each other) and they are now 9th in the constructors title.
    Haas buy most of their car from ferrari, and outsource the build. All this considered and orlen need to pay title sponsor for kubica to get limited fp1 running? Lol.

    1. Orlen will make their money back in a week, kubica has put them in the international spotlight. Their earnings went up heaps this year as a direct result of investing in kubica and f1. There will be more to it than just fp1s, I bet Orlen wants to cut a deal to have kubica race in 2021, and to develop fuel for haas. Kubica chose to leave Williams, he is a smart operator, there is no way he wants this terrible season to be his fairwell to F1.

  8. Could that lead to a Nascar (not Cup) drive?

    1. Would get eaten alive.

    1. Kubica has more problems because of Williams.

  9. Good for him! Not saying there’s any conspiracy but there’s no way hes as slow as he is compared with Russell.

    Be good to see him in another, hopefully more drivable car.

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