autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
F1 NEWS 

Eric Boullier says Renault will keep door open for Robert Kubica through 2012

Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia testingRenault has vowed to do what it can to try and keep a seat open for Robert Kubica throughout next year, amid the increasing likelihood that the Polish driver will not be fit for the start of the season.

Kubica is still recovering from the serious injuries he suffered in a rally crash during February, and there is still no definite news on when he will be ready to return to racing.

Although that means Renault may be forced to look elsewhere for a team-mate for Vitaly Petrov next year, team principal Eric Boullier has not ruled out slotting in Kubica later in the campaign if he cannot come back any earlier.

When asked by AUTOSPORT about the latest Kubica situation, Boullier said: "The latest I have is that he cannot commit to any deadline, so we have to discuss a common communication plan. We obviously want him to be back.

"If it has to be during the course of next year, why not? There are some conditions that we need to discuss, and I need to discuss with his manager that once he knows he cannot be back, or if he cannot be back, then any scenarios we now need to properly communicate."

Boullier had originally laid down an October deadline for Kubica to give firm news on his future plans, and that was subsequently extended.

Although there is still no certainty over Kubica's position, Boullier insists he is not worrying yet about the situation - especially as he has plenty of options for next year.

"I am patient because I am morally committed for him, he was very important for us," he said. "We play the game, we played every game for him and I am morally committed. If I can have a scenario where he can be back, even during the course of the year, I will try to make it, but obviously I cannot do more."

With Kubica working hard on his recovery, Boullier said that there had been little contact with the driver - but he thought that was simply because things had not been progressing as well as Kubica had probably hoped.

"If he doesn't want to speak to anybody, what can I say? There is no problem in the communication plan of the last month. I think the problem is that October was the key month for him to make sure that he could be back in February.

"Unfortunately I think he is not ready now, this is why he is missing the month and he is working very hard to catch back. But the October month was the key one to make sure that we could commit for next year and the first race."

There has been speculation that Kubica is already looking at options with other teams for the future, with Ferrari having always been interested in him, especially as his contract with Renault runs out at the end of this season.

Boullier said he could not stop the Pole racing elsewhere, but said from his side he would hold on to make a seat available.

"Even if it is business, we have been morally committed to him, more than morally committed, so if he does this [drives elsewhere] he does what he wants. The contract is expiring at the end of the year, so he does what he wants.

"We have been fair enough, we have been morally committed and if he wants to drive somewhere else, fine. He does what he wants. I don't believe there is another place better than ours today, free."

Romain Grosjean's strong form in Friday practice in Abu Dhabi has helped ease Boullier's concerns for next year, though, as the Frenchman could be a good candidate to join the outfit.

Speaking about Grosjean's performance, Boullier said: "I think he did well. No mistakes. He built up some speed, delivering some good lap times and I am surprised about the feedback which is quite good, and then we will see. Obviously it was his first session and I think he had the pace, so let's see in Interlagos."

When asked if Grosjean was ready for a step up to F1 with Renault, Boullier said: "Maybe... he is one of the plans for sure, one of the scenarios, definitely."

Subs
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
Latvala: Rallye du Var hard for Kubica
Kubica to drive title-winning Citroen
Kubica aiming for full season in '13
Pirelli eyes Kubica for 2013 test role
Kubica: Confidence boosted by win
Kubica wins on competition return
Kubica still aiming for F1 return
Kubica poised to contest Italian rally
Kubica tests factory WRC Fiesta
Kubica undergoes elbow operation
Lopez: F1 is missing Kubica
Kubica leaves hospital after leg surgery
Kubica injures leg in fall in Italy
Kubica loss 'biggest blow' to Renault
Renault not ruling out Kubica yet
Kubica manager's view baffles Renault
Manager denies Kubica will miss 2012
Kubica to miss start of 2012 F1 season
Renault still in the dark over Kubica
Renault set to extend Kubica deadline
Boullier plans Kubica talks this week
Kubica 2012 decision due within weeks
Mid-October deadline for Kubica
Q & A with Kubica's manager Morelli
Kubica set to get behind wheel again
Kubica operation a success
Kubica determined to be on 2012 grid
Kubica's manager: Brazil return possible
Manager bullish over Kubica's progress
Boullier hopes Kubica will race in '11
Renault: Kubica unlikely to race in 2011
Renault positive over Kubica recovery
Kubica leaves Italian hospital
Summer decision on Kubica's return
Q & A with Robert Kubica
Kubica set to leave hospital
Kubica has extra elbow surgery
Q & A: Ceccarelli on Kubica's progress
Kubica return 'impossible' to predict
Renault: Heidfeld already leading team
Kubica begins rehabilitation process
Kubica to leave intensive care unit
Alonso: Drivers can't cut out risk
Kubica undergoes final surgery
Heidfeld confirmed at Renault
Kubica set to stay in Italy for rehab
Kubica continues to make good progress
Q & A: Senna on Renault testing debut
Senna: Team right to want experience
Q & A: Heidfeld on Renault test
Renault 'very positive' about Heidfeld
Heidfeld already developing R31
Vettel hopes Kubica will rally again
Heidfeld: Renault debut a 'fun' day
Kubica requires one more operation
Heidfeld's Renault run set for Saturday
Piquet: F1 teams will restrict drivers
Kubica vows to return this season
Q & A: Heidfeld on Renault test
Petrov ready to take bigger role
Renault won't restrict drivers' activities
Heidfeld confident about Renault test
Grosjean not feeling overlooked
Heidfeld can seal Renault seat at test
Kubica set for single operation
Teams show support for Kubica at Jerez
Renault to evaluate Heidfeld at Jerez
Renault in no rush to name driver
Heidfeld, Liuzzi also in Renault frame
Kubica to undergo surgery this week
Glock would hesitate to go rallying
Kubica continues to make progress
Briatore visits Kubica, predicts recovery
Co-driver explains Kubica crash
Kubica to undergo second operation
Kubica informed of extent of injuries
Kubica's condition is 'stable but serious'
Kubica could be sidelined for 2011
Kubica suffers multiple fractures
Kubica hospitalised after rally crash
Haymarket