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

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

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

  1. Dr Jones said on 8th October 2009, 15:04

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

  2. The Limit said on 8th October 2009, 16:06

    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.

  3. Cyclops said on 8th October 2009, 18:06

    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.

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

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

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

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

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

  8. 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

  9. polishboy808 said on 25th December 2009, 21:23

    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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