Robert Kubica joins Renault for 2010 as doubts grow over Qadbak-Sauber entry

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Robert Kubica tested for Renault in 2005 before signing for BMW
Robert Kubica tested for Renault in 2005 before signing for BMW

Robert Kubica has been confirmed as the replacement for Fernando Alonso at Renault for 2010.

The Polish driver is returning to the company that played a crucial role in his arrival in F1. He won the World Series by Renault championship in 2005.

Kubica always seemed likely to leave BMW after it emerged that he only learned of their plans to leave F1 next year when he read about it online. Now there are fresh doubts over the future of the team and questions are being asked about the kind of company

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who had dealings with Qadbak representative Russell King a few years ago, said: “I started being concerned for Sauber when I heard his name.”

Another obstacle to the ex-BMW team remaining in Formula 1 is lack of support for a 14th team, especially from – who else? – Williams.

Under the circumstances, it would probably be wise for Nick Heidfeld to find a berth elsewhere if he can.

Signing a high-profile driver like Kubice is a sign of Renault’s reaffirmed commitment to F1 in the wake of the Singapore crash scandal.

It’s a significant change for both parties. Kubica is breaking the bond with the team that brought him into F1, though more out of necessity than choice. Renault embraces a future without the Briatore-Symonds-Alonso team that won two world championships.

Kubica’s team mate has yet to be announced. Romain Grosjean has not impressed in his first five races for the team, but it’s important to stress his lack of experience and the limited amount of testing available to him.

He probably has a good chance of keeping his place next year, but with the driver market in a state of turmoil Renault may spy an opportunity to snap up a big name at a low price.

What do you think of Kubica’s move to Renault? Who should partner him next year? And what will be the next big announcement on the driver market? Have your say in the comments.

See the updated list of 2010 F1 drivers and teams

128 comments on “Robert Kubica joins Renault for 2010 as doubts grow over Qadbak-Sauber entry”

  1. To me Kubica is a great deal. If I was Renault boss I’d try to catch Rosberg, what a great duo…or why not Trulli?
    I think the biggest doubt is regarding Raikkonen: he is the biggest piece of the puzzle now: McLaren or Brawn GP?

    1. I think the biggest doubt is regarding Raikkonen: he is the biggest piece of the puzzle now: McLaren or Brawn GP?

      … Redbull alongside Vettel would be my dream…. reality = Mclaren!

      1. … Redbull alongside Vettel would be my dream

        Webber is already signed as a Red Bull Racer next year.

        1. Not guaranteed since Webber’s new contract for Red Bull was done by Flavio, who has since been kicked out of the sport ;)

          1. I didnt think of that…I had been reading that there were rumors of Kimi talking with red bull, but I didnt see how Webber could be dropped next year. Interesting.

          2. Yes but the contract is between Webber and Red Bull – Flavio or the management company only act as a third party to come to an agreement that is in the drivers best interest.

            The contract is signed, too late for Red Bull to get out of it unless they pay Webber out.

        2. Yes but it is clear that once again Mark Webber cannot cut it under pressure in F1. RBR should cut him loose and get someone who is a racer who can be counted on.

        3. Webber is already signed as a Red Bull Racer next year.

          So was Raikkonen with Ferrari…

          1. Exactly. I swear Button started this recent trend when he bought his way out of his Williams contract.

            Seems nothing is set in stone if you have the cash to buy people out.

      2. Prisoner Monkeys
        8th October 2009, 0:41

        There’s already a rumourthat he’s talking with them … but it’s only rumour for the time being.

        1. Agree with PM it is just a rumour and I still don’t see Kimi wanting to be there, but what do I know.
          Also, when you have an ‘alright’ driver in Webber but ‘one of the best’ in Kimi, I think they would pay to get the best possible and go for a championship.

  2. Good move and an expected one. Hopefully Heidfeld will follow suit, and Grosjean shipped off to Campos for a year.

    1. Totally agree, a big budget team like Renault needs to get the best drivers available. Quick Nick is sneaky fast, ego free, and a great test and development driver. Hopefully he finds a good seat for next year.

  3. Why not Kimi alongside Kubica??? 2 big names is what Renault need to come out of their “crisis”! … And it would probably bring the Renault of the Alonso years.. hopefully!

    1. sorry… (bring back)

      1. Kube and Kimi together??
        This sounds like a great idea!

    2. but Kimi has already declined to show his interest with Renault at his interview with, “no, not with them”..!

    3. hahaha the K&K team with Renault…a hell of a team….i was with Renault all my live!hope to 2 see them back again on the edge!!!

  4. I love this move. Of anyone to sit in Alonso’s seat at Renault, I would prefer Kubica above all else. Now I can still look forward to Renault in the future as Alonso is with Ferrari.

  5. Great article Keith, doubts will shroud the team until more is learnt about Quadbak-Sauber. It is a far from ideal situation as well for the team to prepare for next year when it seems they know very little too. Rumours Heidfeld to follow Kubica, the line up has worked in the past so might as well give it a go. However, I feel sorry for all the rookies this year; it’s very hard to show their talent when there is no testing so they can’t just jump in the car and ‘do a Hamilton’.

  6. If Kubica gets a good race seat for 2010, then I hope Heidfeld does aswell.

    1. I’ll second that!

      The subject of Heidfeld vs. Kubica was up in the F1fanatic forum the other day.I think most would be suprised to check the stats.Heidfeld doesn’t have a 1st place trophy but has outscored Kubica and is much more reliable.If Nick had a more aggressive instinct he would certainly shine over Robert.

      1. Plus he looks like a werewolf. Whats not to like?

          1. and he’s “very slow in the Rankings” :D

            (For those that saw Martin Brundles grid walk in Japan)

      2. you’re a funny guy :) Heidfeld better than Kubica ? More reliable ? What F1 are you watching ?

  7. Kubica and Heidfeld will be teamates again. I have no doubts.

    1. This would be bad for Heidfeld. He needs a team where he can get the no. 1 driver status.

      He’s had enough of rivalizing with Kubica – a fight he cannot win.

      1. I would love to see Heidfeld and Wickens as teamates on one of the new teams.

      2. He needs a team where he can get the no. 1 driver status.

        And what team offers that these days?

        Rivalry with your team mate is a natural and necessary thing in all motorsports. It has nothing to do with “No.1 status”, in fact it is the opposite of having a preferred driver.

        1. You misunderstood me.
          By “where he can get” I meant a team where he’d be teamed with a slower driver than him – a rivalry he could win. He has no chance with drivers like Kubica.

          1. Heidfeld’s a good driver but I don’t think he’s in a position to pick and choose his seat for next year.

          2. If you had read the article regarding Heidfeld vs. Kubica, you would have seen that in every year but one as teammates, Nick has outscored Bob. BMW Sauber offered him a rivalry he could win….. and he did just that (albeit not in the general public’s opinion)

          3. Tim, what a lot of crap! In 2007 Heidfeld had more points because he participated in more races than Kubica. In 2008 Kubica was better by a milessss ! In 2009… Kubica is ahead again !!!

  8. Mark Hitchcock
    7th October 2009, 22:08

    Now there are fresh doubts over the future of the team and questions are being asked about the kind of company

    Don’t like to be nit-picky but I’m guessing you’ve forgotten to finish that sentence.

    Renault is probably Kubica’s best option right now, lets just hope they can give him a car with which he can challenge for wins again. Hopefully he can stick it to BMW by challenging for the championship that they should have tried to win for him in 08.

    1. i noticed that too :)

      should a team drop out, bringing the 2010 total to 12, would sauber-qadbak be entered in the 13th slot?

      which would be better to see:
      an unknown startup, or the ashes of bmw?

  9. Williams are being really spanner-in-the-worksy recently, aren’t they? It’s starting to annoy.

    And nice one Rob, lets see what you can do with some Renault Power underneath you.

    1. Its easy to be generous with someone else’s checkbook, ajokay.

      BMW/Sauber is a direct competitor for the FOM millions Williams depends on. Williams has nothing to fear regarding their revenues from the ‘new’ teams in the back of the grid, but why on earth would they want to allow a 14th team which is strong enough to be a serious threat to their 2010 constructors points?

      I wouldn’t agree to such ‘generosity’ either when the fiscal survival of my team depends critically on position in constructors championship.

      1. Maybe so, but it’s still annoying for us fans. Plus if Williams want more money than BMW, maybe they should build a faster car, like they used to, and emply a second driver with some credentials and ability to finish in the top 8, instead of yet another Japanese also-ran.

        And, last time I checked, Williams were comfortably above BMW in this year’s standings.

    2. Williams are being really spanner-in-the-worksy recently, aren’t they?

      I like how Williams is sticking to its principles. Telling Ferrari that Schuey shouldn’t have a test. Announcing they plan to run KERS next year despite the veto by the rest of FOTA. Sticking to 13 teams which has been the plan for many months now.

      You should be blaming the FIA for giving away Sauber’s slot to Lotus so hastily.

  10. Renault likes to have a #1 and #2 drivers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Grosjean stays. I have to say I admire him only because he accepted to replace Piquet without proper testig, something Hamilton didn’t do in 06.

    1. And look where it’s gotten him. When he was announced I was not optimistic that he would do better than Piquet and feared he would be branded a flame-out after 1.5 seasons of being a #2 in a mediocre car. He has not done better than Piquet, and is not likely to have a break out year beside Kubica in a rebuilding Renault team.

    2. You admire that he went in to F1 unprepared? Also, Hamilton didn’t do it because he wasn’t offered. They didn’t think he was ready, but he did.

    3. I presume you mean when Montoya left and if I remember rightly Hamilton was never really considered at the time, it was always between Pedro De La Rosa and Gary Paffett.

      1. Even in 07 people were shocked that McLaren opted for Hamilton instead of De La Rosa or Paffet.

        1. well i think McLaren made the right move in 07′ dont you?

    4. Renault likes to have a #1 and #2 drivers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Grosjean stays.

      You’re forgetting that the No.1 and No.2 drivers status was a characteristic of the Briatore management, particularly when Alonso was driving for the team. They have both gone now and control of the team will have been shaken up somewhat. I wouldn’t be surprised if Renault (in an effort to look fair and regulation-abiding) adopt the driver equality found in most teams these days.

    5. Without Briatore maybe they’ll start giving their drivers equal oppurtunities

  11. Grosjean is going to be replaced by a more mature driver. Now that ALO is off they can’t afford to have a second driver “training”. French press reported they want to replace him by a german driver i.e. HEI, SUT or GLO. As per KUB IMHO he made the wrong choice, Toyota seems more promising that Renault at the moment.

  12. This is a great move for both Kubica and Renault – I hope to see them challenging for the title next year.

    I really don’t seen Kimi going to Renault though, I still think he’ll join McLaren. As for Heidfeld – yes, he’s very reliable and will probably end up in an F1 car next season – but not Renault. The more I think about it, the more I think that Kovaleinen will be Kubica’s team-mate next year.

    Grosjean, although he has plenty of potential, is sadly proof that the test-ban is a bad idea – how on Earth can someone who’s hardly driven an F1 car suddenly be expected to drive on in a race situation? Remember that back in 2006, Kubica got his break with BMW by stepping in during the season having previously been the team’s Friday driver. He had previous experience of driving the car on a regular basis before he stepped up to driving it in a race situation. Drivers like Grosjean, and also Alguesuari over at Torro Rosso have been denied this opportunity – and it could ruin their careers.

  13. Toyota seems more promising that Renault at the moment.

    At the moment – yes. But for many years they can’t achieve nothing special. The story of Renault we all know. The choice for Rob was almost obvious.
    I think it will occur as a very aimed deal.

  14. Great news that Renault are affirming their commitment to F1, and that a top driver believes enough in their viability and commitment. How much of Red Bull’s speed this year can be attributed to their Renault engines, as opposed to a great aero package, chassis or drivers.

    Heidfeld seems a perfect choice for a new team with a limited budget in need of a consistant, dependable driver that can bring experience and stability, and a good teammate for a young, new driver. I would also think Reubens would fill this role perfectly (if Brawn decides to make room for another top-name, sponsor-rich driver).

    Does BMW plan on offering engines to teams, and is Williams looking to replace Toyota?

    1. BMW have said they won’t even be supplying engines next year, so if Sauber do get a place on the grid they will be using Ferrari engines.

      Also Williams were rumoured to be signing up for Renault engines next year but it was thought the decision was delayed to see what the outcome of the race fixing hearing was.

      Frank Williams said the other day that they will have to make a decision on engines very soon so it doesn’t hamper the design of the 2010 car.

      1. Meanwhile, back at Ferrari and Macca…hundreds of techs are well into next years car.

  15. What about Bourdais?
    If Renault are looking to rebuild their image, Kubica is a great start and have an experienced French driver as 2nd driver.

    1. good point, I always thought Bourdais adapted to F1 better than most people thought.

    2. Bourdais doesn’t deserve a second chance in an F1 car. He was owned by Vettel last year, and was being owned by Buemi this year.

      If Renault want a Frenchman to drive their car they should stick with Grosjean. He is poor at the moment, but he is young and has potential. Bourdais may be an Indy legend, but he can’t cut it in F1.

  16. Kubica signing with Renault really makes the company seem more stable. He has openly confessed that his next move will be to a tam that is not going to quit on him any time soon. I’m glad he is out of BMW. That team really let him down, and they are paying the price for it now. You always go for the win because you might never get that chance again. They passed it up and are now tucking tale with a great career of one pole and one race win. Bye bye BMW and hopefully a bright future for Kubica.

  17. Prisoner Monkeys
    8th October 2009, 0:49

    I think that if QABAK talked with FOTA, told them a little about themselves and what they were intending to do, then FOTA migt be a litle more amenable to letting them in.

  18. First of all Kubica is the real deal. He’s a very talented driver and deserves a team that sticks with him untill the end of the season rather than “focussing on next year” whilst Kubica has a chance to become champion. Second I really think Kubica and Heidfeld make a wonderfull team. Kubica is the fast one of the 2, qualifies better (that’s what Nick should improve on IMO) and just has a higher pace overall. But if you give Heidfeld a decent car he’s going to bring it home 99/100 times. What I also like about him is the way he races. He’s not afraid to take a tactical gamble every once in a while. He’s always “that guy you hardly see in the race, but who does score points”. Webber has a bit of that as well and Kubica needs someone like that next to him. Gives him more freedom to try and push as hard as he can, the team will score anyway.

    Other choices than Heidfeld:
    Raikkonen: I think it’s very unlikely he will get in that car. The’re not competative enough. He’s probably going to McClaren or RBR if indeed he does stay in F1.

    Grosjean: Too early to judge the kid. He only did a few races and I don’t think he did that bad overall. He deserves a chance but it might be too early for him. Perhaps a year as third driver? It’s a big risk to sign him opposed to signing an experienced driver like Heidfeld.

    Trulli: Not a big fan of him. Didn’t do well with Renaul earlier, don’t see why he’s going to do better now.

    Rosberg: Possible, he seems very consistent and very fast and talented. But if he can get a deal with Brawn or McClaren he’s probably going there. I do think Rosberg needs to be tested now. He’s been doing great at Williams, now let’s see how he does when facing a true challenge in his team mate. Kubica provides an excellent challenge but so does Hamilton.

    So I’d pick Rosberg or Heidfeld.

  19. How about Rubens? Might ensure Kubica gets a good hurry up during the season! ;-)

  20. The discussion about the 14th team being on the grid being opposed by Williams is to me another clear indication the Frank Williams is afraid of more competition, does not want to share revenue on a thinner basis and just doesn’t get the fact that F1 is not about him.
    I for one would kick him out of FOTA for good. He got a reasonable reprive and then crapped on FOTA again and was unreasonable about the Ferrari situation.
    He needs to also remember that what goes around comes around.

    1. clear indication the Frank Williams is afraid of more competition, does not want to share revenue on a thinner basis

      So he’s being rational? F1 is not a charity you know.

  21. I think Rosberg is a done deal to Brawn, Rubens to Williams. Kimi to McLaren which leaves Trulli, Glock, Kovaleinen and Heidfeld all available.

    Either Glock or Kovaleinen would be good and have Grosjean test for a year and make a comeback in 2011.

  22. Kovy should go back to renault, try rebuild his reputation!

    also it will leave renault with a really strong line up, with both drivers having strong renault ties, also probably the third strongest line up bechind McLaren and Ferrari

  23. “The team formerly known as BMW” (TTFKAB) not appearing on the grid is a result of BMW, not Williams. BMW have scuppered any chance of TTFKAB being on the grid, its their fault. Not Williams.
    TTFKAB would have been on the grid no problems and we wouldn’t be having this discussion had BMW signed the Concorde. But they didn’t, and they lost their entry as a result. No entry = no entry. BMW’s fault, not Williams.

    No one took away TTFKAB’s entry, they cancelled it.

    Lets make a hypothetical. If Toyota announced tomorrow they were pulling out of F1 and handed back their entry, that entry would be given to TTFKAB. In two months time, what if Toyota decided actually no, they would like to enter afterall. No, bugger off, you decided not to enter next season, you lost your opportunity, you have made your bed. Too bad. Its not everyone else’s job to fix other people’s mistakes/bad decisions. BMW are solely responsible for the situation that TTFKAB are now in.

    Why should there be any special cases? There shouldn’t. BMW decided not to keep an entry for TTFKAB, TTFKAB have no entry. Simple. No special cases, everyone plays by the same rules.

    Everyone cries foul whenever a particular team is seemingly given special treatment, now everyone is crying foul because a team didn’t get their entry in on time and want special treatment.

    Direct your anger at BMW, not the other people who don’t want to have to fix BMW’s bad decisions.

    Why should we allow one team (TTFKAB) to gain an extra entry and not another (Stefan, Prodrive etc)? Neither have entries, neither should be allowed.

    *An analagy – Entry into F1 is like catching a plane. Everyone knows when you need to check in by, don’t think you can wander up 10 minutes after check in closes and still get on. You can shout and cry all you want, but you’re not getting on that plane. Everyone knows the rules, you’re not special. If you haven’t checked in, too bad, your fault.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      8th October 2009, 8:57

      Good stuff, Ben Ell.

    2. 1. “Why should we allow one team (TTFKAB) to gain an extra entry and not another (Stefan, Prodrive etc)? Neither have entries, neither should be allowed.”

      It’s a logical point in logical a sport that defies logic.

      1. Well…the afore mentioned teams have no history in F1. Do you lose a BMW that was modestly contending for a WC a year ago?

      2.BMW made my Mini S Type. Red with white stripes :-D

      3. You sound a bit angry…and stiff shirted in your post . Can I buy you a pint?

  24. What I’m really curious about is who will drive for Toyota? They clearly feel they can do better than Trulli and Glock, but who is available that fits that description?

    If the options are Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Grosjean or a newbie it doesn’t seem like much of an improvement.

    What odds on Nakajima and Kobayashi to keep the management happy?

    1. No offense, but I think what management wants to see are Race Wins, and Nakajima has clearly proven that he is utterly incapable of that. As for Kobayashi, I wouldn’t know, but Toyota really needs a Driver with either a proven winning record, or a potential for doing so. Imagine Rosberg and Heidfeld. It would be very solid indeed, although knowing Toyota, it wouldn’t guarantee wins, so Rosberg should stick to Macca or Brawn.

  25. Kubica needs a good ride & Renault needs a good driver so I guess its a good move.Instead of waiting for Qadbak-Sauber Nick should look for other team.

    Romain should partner him as he did a relatively good job this season & if he does some more testing next season then he will become a mature driver for next season.

    the next big announcement on the driver market will be ICEMAN.Mclaren or Brawn.Both places he will enjoy the best technical support.I don’t think he will move to Red Bull or even Renault.

    so lets wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. I wonder if Force India will be in the market for a driver as well. With some very encouraging performances (and considering the car may stay much the same), they may have to take this opportunity to replace Sutil.

    I have never been impressed by him and although FI is a small team still, having Sutil as No. 1 is not at all convincing. Liuzzi has some racing instinct at least. Any views on Sutil and Force India?

  27. MY Predictions for next year’s line up.

    1. Button
    2. Rosberg

    RBR :
    3. Vettel
    4. Webber(no Kimi)

    5. Massa
    6. Alonso

    Mclaren :
    7. Hamilton
    8. Kimi (for sure)

    Williams :
    9. Barrichelo
    10. HUlkenberg

    Toyota :
    11. Heidfield
    12. Kovalenen

    Renault :

    14. Kubica
    15. Grosjean

    Force India:

    16. Sutil
    17. Liuzzi

    STR Ferrari :

    18. Buemi
    19. Jaime

    Campos :
    20. Pedro de la rosa
    21. Trulli

    22. Narain Karthikeyan(I met him at Singapore GP and he told he is racing in 2010)
    23. Nakazima

    Manor :
    24 : Adam Carroll (A1GP champ)
    25. Glock

    US F1 :

    1. My only change:

      5. Hamilton
      6. Kimi

      7. Massa
      8. Alonso

      McLaren should beat Ferrari to 3rd in the constructors champs, Fisi just isn’t quick enough at the moment. But isn’t exactly on fire right now Kovi I guess…

      I don’t know about Nakajima going to Lotus. Wouldn’t the Malaysian owners put their weight behind Alex Yoong?

    2. An affront to the name “Lotus”… Karthikayen was guff. Nakajima would be lead driver but only on the (lack of) strength of Karthikayen

  28. Narain Karthikeyan?? Who?

    1. Jordan 2005 (the year after your namesake), Williams tester 2006/07. Isn’t he driving the Indian A1GP entry currently? Interesting prediction, Gill. Always good to have your own sources!

      1. I know who he is. But the question is, is he any good? And why would a Malaysian team want an Indian driver? They would rather go for Alex Yoong.

        1. Alex is involved in the management of this team and moreover he is merely a commentator now

      2. I met him in a food mall in singapore. He said he is racing though I know he isnt good but so is Grosjean and so was PIquet.
        He might be bringing some sponserships.

        1. Yoong is a pretty good commentator…he shouldn’t quit his day job;)

      3. as a malaysian…i dont think nakajima and narain will be in lotus next year….lotus looking for a experience driver and i believe both narain and nakajima is just apiece of crap…alex yoong already said that he never ever back to f1 if he get a crap car. i believe lotus driver for next season will be fairuz fauzy and heidfeld/fisichella…

  29. Heidfeld.

  30. Manor arent using wind mill to develop their car aero. They are using a computer software which deals in fluid dynamics. Crazy fellows

    1. Manor arent using wind mill to develop their car aero

      Of course nobody uses windmill!! They use wind tunnels instead :)

      They are using a computer software which deals in fluid dynamics

      Everyone uses CFD softwares for simulation purposes. What is wrong with that?

      1. Everyone uses CFD softwares for simulation purposes. What is wrong with that?

        There’s nothing wrong with that besides that little missing thing commonly known as “reality check”.

        If Wirth can really pull a competitive F1 rabbit out of the CFD-hat, the other 12 teams will stand dumbfounded: “gee, why didn’t we think of this cost-saving idea: abandon comparison of computer simulations with reality altogether”.

        Thinking of it: why not run F1 races just in simulators? They are sooo real nowadays that the TV audience would hardly notice ;-).

        PS: I am a computational physicist by profession…

        1. If the CFD-only approach works then great, but not even using a wind tunnel testing to confirm the CFD results seems like an awful risk.

          But then I seem to recall the Wirth-era Benettons had some very complicated bits that promised much but delivered little – innovation at the expense of good fundamentals. Perhaps the latest Wirth F1 venture will be the same.

        2. “PS: I am a computational physicist by profession…”

          Sorry to hear about your handicap:-P

          Cheers, Alex

  31. correction – Wind tunnels…
    MP4 – the keyword here is “only”.
    THey are using CFD only. NO WIND TUNNELS(mills) :)

    1. Check out for an interesting look inside USF1’s facility in Charlotte.

      They are are working like crazy on the new car, and there are a few over the shoulder shots of people working on the design of the car. It catually doesn’t look too bad!

      1. Check out Joe Saward’s Grand Prix Blog. Yes! Even I’m impressed with their facilities. But I’m not entirely not confident about the 3-d modeling software they are using. Sadly they seem to be using NX, which is way inferior compared to Catia.
        As for CFD, its good that they are using fluent. Its the market leader in that area. They’ll do fine if they ditch NX for Catia. I’m telling this out of personal experience.

  32. I’m with everyone else hoping for Heidfeld to join his long time team mate at Renault. They make up one of the best driver pairings in the whole of F1, and both deserve a good seat. Kubica gets most of the headlines, but Quick Nick is just as good, if not better, if Renault really wants a strong driver line up they can depend on, he is the perfect choice. They can pick up the pieces BMW so rudely left behind and once again take the fight to Ferrari and McLaren! :)

    I hope!

  33. Prisoner Monkeys
    8th October 2009, 6:53

    Interesting idea as to who Kubica’s team-mate could be: Vitaly Petrov.

    I know I’ve tipped Petrov for the Campos drive given his connections to the team in GP2, but his backer is said to be MegaFon an Campos are believed to be working with Telefonicia as title sponsor. I can’t imagine either MegaFon or Telefonicia being too thrilled about the prospect of working together.

    Renault are looking to reinvent themselves, and recently they’ve been in both Poland and Russia. If MegaFon is indeed Petrov’s backer – it’s a little hazy as to who is sponsoring him, but the money in Russia is in telecoms and oil oligarchs – then they may be willing to offer title sponsorship if Renault take Petrov. And it’s not as if Petrov is lacking in talent; he was Grosjean’s team mate at Barwa Addax, but out-performed him for most of the season. He’s quick, with only seven finishes outside the points and four of them were retirements (and if you saw the start at Algarve, he was ideally-placed until Michael Herck came along).

    Better yet, both Petrov and Kubica are from Eastern Europe. And as we’ve seen there’s a certain degree of camaderie between drivers from the same area: Barrichello and Massa get along great, the German drivers all seem reasonably tight, and I haven’t heard anything to suggest Button and Hamilton are at loggerheads. If Petrov – or even Aleshin, who drove for the Renault Roadshow in Moscow and did pretty well in Formula Two – was teamed up with Kubica, I think they’d get along fairly well.

    1. Better yet, both Petrov and Kubica are from Eastern Europe. And as we’ve seen there’s a certain degree of camaderie between drivers from the same area

      Yeah, but one is POLISH, the other is RUSSIAN… Historically the two countries haven’t really got on (undersatement). If they did work well together I doubt it would be because of geography.

  34. My ideal partner for Kubica at Renault would be Kovalainen. That way the likable and solid Kovi would stay in F1, the unimpressive Grosjean would be out of F1 and the path would be clear for a Lewis Kimi line-up at McLaren.

    But that’s probably not going to happen. So I reckon Kovi will stay at McLaren, Grosjean will partner Kubica and Kimi to spend a year in Finland drinking and riding snowmobiles.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      8th October 2009, 8:48

      Kovalainen is a backmarker in a lead car. Given his unimpressive run of results,I wholly expect McLaren to send him off with not much more than a da svidaniya.

      1. i agree Kovvie is not impressing much at the moment – but i have a sneaking sensation that GeeMac is right and that things are more likely going to stay the same than change. Something to do with budgets and driver costs maybe?

        1. I think the only thing that is certain is that a Fin will be in the second McLaren. Kovi, Kimi or Rosberg (even though he pretends to be German ;-)).

  35. U forgot mentioning about Icecreams(remeber malaysia). THe race was still active and KIMI was sucking onto ice candy inside the garrage. It was awesome. :)

    1. I would ve done the same though. I mean, what was the point in staying in the car, getting soaked for a very small chance of getting a new start from the back of the grid (he was 9th or 10th) in a dangerous slippery and dark circuit. Might as well get dry and have a good ol popstickle.

      1. “point in staying”–> THen wats the point in driving a JOrdan or a Minardi or a STR ferrari. Dear Tarzan, drivers are paid to drive and to take advantage of any help which comes there way in the form of rain, safety car etc. May be he was not in the front but he should atleats be wearing his thermal suit like otgher drivers.
        Its way to unprofessional and I doubt this is why he got kicked out of the ferrari.

    2. Kimi’s race was over due to a technical failure. They couldn’t repair the car, so he wouldn’t have started even if the race had restarted.

      1. Could u please tell me wat was the technicla failure. The only glitch I noticed with ferrari was that they sent KIMI on wets when the track was dry. I dint notice anything other than that

        1. Water in the KERS.

          You didn’t notice the car was put in the garage?

  36. it seems everybody have unique idea.
    how about
    Raikkonnen : RedBull(a really fast car) (with Vettel.. a really fastboy)
    Webber : McLaren (with Hamilton) British&Australian..make a perfect queendom
    Brawn : Rosberg(when are they gonna announce it?) + Button(will he take the paycut again?)
    Williams : Barrichello? Hulkenberg? Glock?
    Renault: Kubica+Romain?+Glock?+Trulli?
    Toyota: ? + ?
    Ferrari : Massa+Alonso
    too many puzzles to be filled

    1. Trulli to Renault – Never gonna happen

      1. Briatore is not there anymore.
        just a pure prediction anyway.

        Toyota is dumping Trulli and Glock
        Glock might get a seat at deutsch-ed Team,
        whereas Trulli have to wait for
        other puzzles to be filled.
        instead of getting into new-unknown car,
        Trulli would be a better choice than
        Briatore-backed Grosjean at Renault too.

        Brawn’s pace is deteriorating.. really
        are they gonna comeup with another loophole?

    2. If I were Button I’d clear off immediately after winning the championship, I doubt Brawn will be anything above midfield next year. How about Renault? ;)

      1. That’s what I’d do…but then again there is the Ross thingy… How does on explain it?

        1. one explain it?*

          1. if.. Button becomes champion
            if.. Button won’t take the paycut
            if.. Button feels Brawn would to too slow nextyear

            and assuming other teams won’t consider an outpaced Champion…

            Hamilton and Button at McLaren would make Keith very happy

  37. After what happened, Renault should have only one name on their mind in case they want to demote Grosjean, and that is Sebastien Bourdais.

    for possibly obvious reasons, Briatore never placed a french driver in a Renault, something all french people would like to see happen. so Bourdais for Renault, and i have a good feeling that he will get on well with Kubica, and the whole team and do well overall.

    1. Could u please define “well” ? Which position they would be in next year ?

  38. Aww not Bourdais again:P He didn’t do too badly back in 08, but this year really wasn’t up to scratch. I also think the idea of a french driver in a french team is a bit limiting, it’s great and a bonus if the french driver is one of the best (Loeb in Citroen for rallying) but if it isn’t and it is just PR then it is pointless and will just cost results in the long run.

  39. A French driver with a French team and a French sponsor…Ligier?

    1. Or worse… ProstF1

      1. Or worse still… TodtF1

  40. Robert Kubica has reportedly inked only a one-year contract with Renault so that he is available should Ferrari be back on the driver market for 2011.

    Oh also for anyone interested Massa will wave chequered flag at Brazil apparantly.

  41. Sorry, i’m a bit confused. Is Renault banned next year? So why did Kubica joined that team? Aiming only for driver’s points? :(

    1. Renault’s ban is suspended. As was Mc Laren’s in 2007 (2008?)

  42. This has worked out reasonably well for Robert Kubica. With the BMW Sauber team drawing its last breathe, and the prospects of a new team arising from the ashes in doubt, Kubica had no choice but to jump ship.
    As mentioned by Keith, it is also good to see Renault investing in their team’s future by signing the Polish driver up. Kubica is alot better than his F1 results suggest, and Renault along with other teams would be aware of this.
    In many ways, I believe this is a stepping stone for Kubica. No doubt, his friendship with Fernando Alonso has carried alot of weight, and its not impossible to imagine Fernando playing a significent role in selecting a driver to replace him at Renault.
    In years to come, and if the Renault/Kubica relationship bears fruit, he may follow Alonso to Maranello. This, ofcourse, depends on his performances and that of Renault.
    The terrible end of season form in 2008 really undid the promise Kubica had shown leading up to his victory in Canada. Its not hard to imagine the atmosphere at BMW Sauber a year ago, and this season, as the team has floundered and eventually imploded.
    As for Nick Heidfeld, I fear he is witnessing the end of his F1 career. One small crumb of hope, is that Button and Barrichello were in this position at Christmas, and now they are championship contenders. But realistically, his best chance is with one of the new teams.

  43. So it’s done, Robert is with Renault, everybody expected that and I think all will agree that it WAS his best option at the moment. For Renault, as well.

    A for Heidfeld, I think teaming up with Kubica at Renault wouldn’t be a dream-come-true for any of them. They didn’t work well together in BMW. To be frank, they worked against each other, trying to claim the number 1 position in the team, despite the the fact the dr Mario insisted on equality. Some may argue that Kubica deserved the no 1 spot, at least when he was leading the drivers standing, but it is all a “what if” story. Heidfeld however deserved a racing seat, and it would a loss of one of the most consistent drivers if he didn’t get one. He is capable of fantastic defensive and offensive maneuvers, and would be an asset to every team, maybe besides the big guns like McLaren or Ferrari. I think Williams would suit him well and he should be given the number one spot there.
    Also knowing the high sporting ambitions of these two guys, I really doubt they will hook up again. It’s not a matter of hatred like Hamilton-Alonso case, but they just don’t give each other enough space.

  44. Paige Michael-Shetley
    9th October 2009, 4:18

    It’s starting to look like Kovalainen at Renault in the other seat, according to other sources.

  45. Button and Hamilton at McLaren as Brawn will be lucky to be anything above the mdifield in 2010

  46. Button and Hamilton at McLaren as Brawn will be lucky to be anything above the mdifield in 2010

  47. Hamilton and Button at Mclaren 2010
    Kovalainen to Renault with Kubica.
    Raikkonen and Barrichello at Brawn.

  48. kimi is done, i don’t think he even wants to drive in formula 1 anymore.
    he has’nt got any drive, any intrest anymore.
    new teammate for kub.: bertrand baquette, winner of formule renault and he won a test with the renault f1 team

  49. For those of you who say heidfeld needs to be the best in the team, your very deeply mistaken. Heidfeld is one that needs to be pushed to preform. If he isnt (such as in the case of villnueve or frentzen),He wont preform very well. If you look at it, hes done the best with Kubica, who definitly pushed him hard.

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