With many drivers staying put for 2011 the most coveted place on the grid for next year is the second Renault seat.
Speculation about who might take that place has come alive in the past week with the news that team principal Eric Boullier is planning to meet with Kimi R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen. Is the 2007 world champion the right man for Renault?
The question is, does it make sense for Renault? And with all respect to their Russian rookie no-one would deny a Robert Kubica and R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen is a strong driving pairing than Kubica and Vitaly Petrov.
Kubica is clearly a great talent but there were times at BMW when Nick Heidfeld showed him the way.
Having a bona fide world champion alongside him will leave the team in no doubt they’re getting the most out of their car every weekend.
When R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen left the sport last year he did so partly because of the lack of opportunities with front-running teams. But it was also motivated by his dislike of the degree of public exposure that comes with being a Formula 1 driver.
If he did come back, how long would it take him to tire of the press and PR work again?
Even if he didn’t, might Renault be better off investing in an up-and-coming driver who might have a more long-term future with the team? A Petrov, Grosjean or d’Ambrosio, for example?
Speaking purely from the point of view of what’s good for the sport, I’d love to see R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen racing again next year as the fifth or sixth champion on the grid (depending on how this year’s championship resolves itself).
The sticking point for me is which R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen we get. The rapid, combative R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen who won the 2007 championship and was always on top form at Spa?
Or the one that lost his edge after winning the championship to such an extent that Ferrari ended his contract a year early?
If it’s the former, let’s have him back. The latter can stay in the land of mud and Wellington boots.
Do you think Renault should sign Kimi R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen for 2011? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.
Should Renault sign Kimi R?â?ńikk?â?Ânen for 2011?
- Yes (70%)
- No (30%)
Total Voters: 3,402
Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams
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