Robert Kubica, Williams, Interlagos, 2019

Haas awaiting Kubica’s decision on simulator role

2019 F1 season

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Haas is waiting for Robert Kubica to decide if he will take up a role on their simulator programme next year, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.

Kubica, who announced in September he will not race for Williams in the 22020 F1 season, is believed to be weighing up a deal which would involve driving in some practice sessions next year.

The Haas boss is hoping to get a decision from Kubica soon. “At the moment it’s a little bit stand by that one,” he said. “There is no developments since now two weeks and I hope we have got news next week.”

“It’s more from his side,” Steiner explained. “He needs to decide what he wants to do and we are patiently waiting. It’s a big decision for him so I respect what he’s doing that he takes time and thinks about it properly.”

Steiner confirmed he has a back-up plan in mind if Kubica decides not to take the deal. “I hope that we get something because we need to tie everything up as well,” he said. “Time is running out, next year is coming pretty quick.”

Kubica’s role would involved developing the team’s 2021 car. Haas faces a tricky call on how to prioritise the work on its next car, the successor to its flawed VF-19, and the 2021 chassis, which will be designed to a new set of regulations.

Steiner said the team will decide early next year how to manage the two. “We decided a few weeks ago what we’ll do. At the moment we want to make sure that we do the best 2020 [car]. We have got some people on ’21, but we said then at the beginning of next year we’ll decide how quickly we move over to that one.”

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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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10 comments on “Haas awaiting Kubica’s decision on simulator role”

  1. “We have got some people on ’21” – at Ferrari and Dallara.

    Wonder if Gene has had enough of ‘Team Grid Filler and Industrial Machine Tools’. Maybe he could wrangle a deal to put Steiner and Claire together in a joint mismanagement deal for the cost savings.

    1. We all know that Haas does a lot of outsourcing and doesn’t employ a huge staff, but I doubt that the 150 or so people who do work for the team just sit around and drink coffee all day.

    2. @jimmi-cynic Guenther mismanage? I have to disagree with that, I’d say he is really impressive in doing his job so far. He ran the second most successful new F1 team (can’t beat Brawn GP), with a team that many people write off early because they just “buying parts”.

      1. @sonicslv: Really? If Haas is the 2nd most successful F1 new team, don’t want to know who is 3rd. Their initial success was the luck of getting previous gen Ferrari parts that worked with the Dallara bits.

        That luck has run out this season – now 2nd to last, above Williams. Steiner has stated many times he doesn’t know why their car is so bad. Would a good team manager (not working at Williams) have found out by now? His driver management skills… not elite level. However, his Netflix charisma has managed to save his career and possibly the team.

        However, if next year is worse for Haas and better for Williams will Gene Haas enough…

        1. @jimmi-cynic Then aside of Brawn-GP, which new team in F1 modern era (post 1990) that is better than Haas in their first 3 years? Haas, despite being 9th this year, is not that far behind compared to your usual new back markers teams that usually also lapped by midfielders.

          1. @sonicslv: I don’t consider Brawn an actual new team – the 2009 car was inherited from Honda’s $800M development. And Honda sold their team to Brawn for a pound.

            So… let’s just say Haas was the most successful new team in F1 since 1990, even if they aren’t. Steiner found a clever way to build a cheap car around the Listed and Non-listed parts regulation loopholes. And Gene Haas got a relatively cheap way to promote his machine tools globally.

            Had some good luck until this season. But this year has exposed the the flaw in their approach. They don’t understand the characteristics of their own car. Because it’s not really their own car and they’re not really a F1 constructor. But, they’re a great grid filler team that peaked too early.

          2. @jimmi-cynic Or it could be just they got bad luck this year. This is only the first time it happening so I wouldn’t make a definite conclusion right away. Sometimes you just can’t find out the real problem. Even bigger, more experienced, and with more fund than them has times when they just failed to understand their own car. Mercedes experience the same thing in 2016 where the car is famously called a diva, although they managed to tame it midseason. McLaren failed to understand MP4/18 even during (unlimited) testing, so much that it never raced. And that’s with Adrian Newey still in the team. Ferrari didn’t notice the fault in their windtunnel for few years. Williams lost their way since 3 years ago.

            You judging current Haas problem as if it unheard before in F1, while in reality it’s a pretty common problem.

          3. @sonicslv: Could be. Or could be that they suffered from Ferrari’s bad wind tunnel fault. Or Dallara’s poor correlation with Ferrari’s wind tunnel. That’s the problem when the team is more a parts assembler, than a constructor.

            Regarding Williams current poor form, perhaps they make too many of their own parts, while Haas make too few.

  2. At the moment we want to make sure that we do the best 2020 [car].

    I do wonder if, by virtue of some choices made earlier this year, 2020 is going to be a long and painful season. I truly hope I’m wrong.

  3. If Kubica signs does that mean Fittipaldi is out or would they share responsabilities?

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