There are two official mid season test sessions for 2017, one after the Bahrain GP, one after the Hungarian GP and Renault have hinted that they might use Kubica at the Hungaroring.
On the 1st and 2nd of August in Hungary, the teams let numerous junior drivers loose and at least half of the test period must be used exclusively for up and coming talent. Mercedes are looking to use their British prospect and current GP3 leader George Russell.
Red Bull Racing will have Max Verstappen and Pierr Gasly driving, Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen and Formula 2 winner Charles Leclerc. Force India (Or Force One?) are running the Russian Nikita Mazepin and the Austrian Lucas Auer.
Toro Rosso have the Indonesian Sean Gelael, son of KFC mogul Ricardo Gelael. For the second day the ever friendly Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat will be sharing the testing.
HAAS will be keeping up their USA commitments by using the young American Santino Ferrucci along with Gustav Malja from Sweden as well as Nobuhara Matsushita from Japan.
At Williams Felipe Massa will take one day whilst test driver Gary Paffett is still unconfirmed for the other. At McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne will slip into the cockpit, and it’s expected that Lando Norris will get the other day.
But the most interesting gap can be found at Renault next to the Canadian Nicholas Latifi. TJ13 believes that Robert Kubica will be sitting in the car the second day and it would be the first ever test for the 32 year old Pole using 2017 machinery.
Further fuel added to this fire is Renaults team boss Cyril Abiteboul appraisal of the Polish driver;
“I do not see any obvious hurdle about the return of Robert. But I would also point out that such a test and a normal GP weekend are two very different environments. Our situation is highly complex. We do not do all this for PR reasons, although we recognise, of course, the enormous media interest. But that does not matter, Robert is too important for us. “
“What I can confirm is that he is still fast, that he is extremely constant, and that – perhaps even more importantly – he shows this energy, this inner impulse, this enthusiasm, which has always distinguished him.”
A test from Kubica would be the next logical step on his return to a GP comeback. Today’s test regulations are limited, so if Renault were to push the button on Kubica they would sacrifice a young driver’s opportunity to run a test.
Japanese guy at haas?
Indeed. Rumour has it that he was part of the Honda package at Sauber. Maybe another reason Kaltenborn was shown the door.
KFC kid at STR? I guess him and Stroll can relate to each other.
There needs to be more teams in the sport so that we siphon off the cash from these cashed up parents but still have a mostly proper drivers. I don’t see ‘regular’ pay drivers to be much different from these billionaire kids. Where the dough comes from is just different.
Maybe F1 can have a Amateur category like Le Mans GT so that well-heeled gentlemen racers (or their progeny) can have a go. As long as they maintain the 107% rule it will be OK, won’t it?
Exactly, does it really matter how or from where the driver brings in the cash(ethically yes, but not my point)?