withdraws from Budapest test, focus on Kubica
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[July 31, 2017]
By Alan Baldwin
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Brazilian Felipe
Massa has withdrawn from this week's Budapest Formula One test after
missing Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix because he felt unwell.
His Williams team said on Monday that Canadian Lance Stroll would
drive on Tuesday instead, with young Italian Luca Ghiotto making his
Formula One test debut as previously scheduled on Wednesday.
Massa, who felt dizzy in practice last Friday and Saturday, was
replaced at the weekend by the team's experienced British reserve
driver Paul di Resta.
The Brazilian is expected to return for the Belgian Grand Prix at
the end of August, although there are no certainties.
"I think we're optimistic. It would be really a great shame if he
wasn't ready for Spa," team technical head Paddy Lowe said at the
weekend. "That's four weeks away so he ought to be in good shape by
While the test is mainly aimed at giving young drivers track time
and, in some cases, a first taste of Formula One, the main media
focus at the Hungaroring will be on Renault and the comeback of
The 32-year-old Pole, a grand prix winner with BMW Sauber in 2008,
will be driving a contemporary Formula One car for the first time
after impressing in previous tests in older machinery and on the
Kubica could be in the frame to replace Britain's under-performing
Jolyon Palmer at Renault in what would be a remarkable return for a
driver whose F1 career appeared over after a near-fatal accident in
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Williams' Felipe Massa REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
The Pole partially severed a forearm when he crashed
a rally car in a low-key event in north-western Italy that he had
entered for fun before the start of that year's Formula One season.
Renault Sport F1 head Cyril Abiteboul said before the Hungarian
Grand Prix weekend that Kubica was not an immediate threat to Palmer
but the team were considering their options for next season.
"What we are doing with Robert has nothing to do with what Jo does
this weekend or even after the summer break," the Frenchman had told
"Jo will be driving in Spa, and the plan is for him to drive until
the end of the season."
However, he also said he expected Palmer to score his first points
of the season -- something the Briton failed to do. He is now one of
just two drivers on the grid without a point after 11 races.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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