Robert Kubica’s decision to extend his Renault deal until 2012 leaves the identity of his team-mate as the big question mark hanging over next year’s Formula 1 line-up.
The eight drivers in the top four teams are expected to remain unchanged, meaning the second Renault seat is thus the most desirable on the grid. Team principal Eric Boullier has made it clear that Renault wants a quick driver who is capable of pushing the Pole.
The likes of Kimi Räikkönen, Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock have been mentioned, although the Finn looks set to stay in the World Rally Championship.
“If we can have two drivers ﬁghting and challenging each other for the title, this is what I’m dreaming about,” said Boullier. “It’s not by arrogance I’m saying this. It sounds like the second race seat is very interesting for many other drivers.”
Kubica had been linked with a future at Ferrari, but the conﬁrmation some weeks ago of Felipe Massa retaining his seat meant he had no real alternative to Renault. Nevertheless, the deal reﬂects his satisfaction with the team. “I feel good and I like the atmosphere in the team, and that’s it,” he said. “It’s very simple.”