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Haas duo against giving up FP1s for Kubica in 2020

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Haas duo against giving up FP1s for Kubica in 2020
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Co-author: Adam Cooper
Oct 27, 2019, 3:57 PM

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen say they do not want to give up FP1 time in 2020 if Haas signs Williams driver Robert Kubica to a Formula 1 development role.

Kubica will leave Williams at the end of the season, and while he has been linked to a DTM drive, he's known to be speaking to Haas about a test and development role.

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The 34-year-old confirmed that he would be unlikely to accept an F1 role solely devoted to simulator work, and that on-track activity was a key part of any deal to return to F1.

"I hardly see myself just being closed in a dark room, doing laps in the simulator," Kubica said. "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."

Haas currently employs DTM driver Pietro Fittipaldi in that role, while Formula 2 frontrunner Louis Deletraz also undertakes simulator work for the squad.

F1 will axe in-season testing next year and cut down on pre-season test days, meaning Haas would likely have to consider giving Kubica Friday practice track time instead.

And while team boss Gunther Steiner appears open to that, neither of his drivers are particularly keen on the prospect.

Grosjean has pointed to the fact that the top F1 drivers do not give up seat time on an F1 weekend, and if Haas is aiming to move up the grid that it shouldn't do that either.

When asked if he would be happy to give up his car in FP1 outings, Grosjean said: "No."

Asked how to overcome that, he added: "I don't know. 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."

Grosjean shared his Lotus car with Jolyon Palmer in 2015 in a similar deal, but added: "If you have a good car and a balance the set-up is balanced and it's fairly easy to jump back in. If there's a lot of work to be done on the car it's a big setback."

Magnussen echoed Grosjean's opinion that Fridays are too valuable to miss, mainly from a tyre point of view. He also praised Fittipaldi, questioning whether Kubica was needed in that role.

"We already have Pietro Fittipaldi and he is already doing a good job in the simulator," said Magnussen. "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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