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Kubica eyeing up WEC move with new Manor LMP1 test

Robert Kubica (POL) Williams Reserve and Development Driver with the media
© XPB 

Robert Kubica has lined up a second test with the Manor LMP1 team, as he continues to mull a move into world endurance racing.

The Pole missed out on a full-time return to Formula 1 when Williams opted to recruit Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin for 2018.

However, Kubica has been named as the team's official test and reserve driver for the year. In that capacity, he's been in action in this week's pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He had his first outing in the FW41 on Tuesday and put in a best time of 1:21.495s. That was more than three tenths faster that Sirotkin had managed earlier in the day.

Alongside his F1 work, Kubica has also been exploring other competitive opportunities - including the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Kubica tested with the Manor team at Aragon earlier in February. However his time in the Mecachrome-powered Ginetta G60-LT-P1 was cut short by engine trouble after just two laps.

Kubica had shared driving duties on that occasion with Formula 2 driver Oliver Rowland. The 25-year-old has since been named as Williams' Official Young Driver for 2018.

But Motorsport.com has now revealed that a second test at Aragon is being arranged for Kubica, following the earlier disappointment.

“Honestly I didn’t have time to think about it,” Kubica said when asked during down time at Barcelona. "I’m quite busy here and it’s quite a lot of work I’m doing."

As Fernando Alonso knows all too well, combining a WEC campaign with his Formula 1 commitments will leave Kubica working flat-out.

"The schedule is very busy," he concurred. "If I have to add some racing into it will mean from the middle of February until after Le Mans I will have less than ten days at home.

“I have to make sure I can do things properly in [Formula 1]," he added. "I don’t want to do many things and it will become a bit messy.”

Manor has six race seats to fill for the 2018/19 'superseason', which is bookended by successive Le Mans 24 Hours events.

To date, Rowland and Charlie Robertson have taken up two of the spots. That leaves the team with four openings - one of which could have Kubica's name attached.

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