Kubica close to Renault seat UPDATE #4 See this Hot News article for final confirmation of Kubica to Renault.
10/06/09 (GMM) Robert Kubica is set to move to Renault to replace the Ferrari bound Fernando Alonso in 2010, according to the French daily Le Figaro.
The Enstone based team has announced it will reveal the identity of Alonso's replacement this week, and at Suzuka last weekend acting boss Bob Bell confirmed Renault's interest in the 24-year-old Pole.
We have reported that a press release will be issued either on Tuesday or Wednesday.
At the time of the publication of the Le Figaro report, the newspaper said the last obstacle to Kubica's deal was the confirmation of his existing team BMW-Sauber.
It is understood Kubica had a contract to remain with the Hinwil based team next year, but that the German carmaker BMW's withdrawal as owner may have rendered it void.
Asked if he is legally entitled to leave Sauber, he told reporters in Japan last week: "If I was not free I wouldn't be talking with other teams."10/05/09 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' - according to this article and this article, Kubica is confirmed at Renault.
10/03/09 (GMM) Robert Kubica on Saturday appeared to express concerns about moving to the Renault or Toyota teams in 2010.
During Friday's FIA press conference, both outfits confirmed their interest in the 24-year-old Pole, who is reluctant to stay at Sauber for next year in the wake of BMW's withdrawal as owner.
Toyota's commitment to F1 is the subject of intense speculation, and the same could also be said of Renault, particularly in the wake of the harmful 'crash-gate' scandal.
"The future of the team (for 2010) is a big factor and big influence on my decision," Kubica told reporters at Suzuka.
"I would not like to be in the same situation I'm in with BMW-Sauber -- that in the middle of the season the company is announcing it's retiring from formula one.
"I do not want to be in this position (again)," Kubica added.
Toyota team president John Howett admitted in Japan that he is chasing Kubica's services for 2010 despite not yet knowing the size of the 2010 budget that must be approved by the carmaker's executive committee next month.
But the Briton said it is still possible to be negotiating over high salaries with top drivers like Kubica.
"The budget is going to be roughly the size it is currently, and you can reduce other areas. If you buy a cheaper driver, you can deploy that in other areas. I think (it's) a very simple equation for us," he explained.10/01/09 Kubica came into the current campaign with high hopes of building on last season's progress, where he recorded his first Formula One victory but ultimately saw his title aspirations fade away as the team decided to focus on developing a car capable of challenging for this year's Championship.
That has proved a disastrous decision with BMW Sauber collecting just 21 points from 14 races and the German manufacturer announcing they are pulling out of the sport at the end of the season.
Kubica has been widely forecast to fill Fernando Alonso's seat at Renault but he insisted he considered a number of options and remains confident he will land the drive he wants.
"I'm clear in my own mind what I want to do. I'm 95 per cent certain my first choice will come through," he said.
"Now is the period you have to decide, it is better to have closed the deal so I think sooner or later we will know where I will be.
"There is nothing 100 per cent sure until I sign the contract. Who says I will be racing there (Renault)? There are some other options. There is never 100 per cent guarantee of performance, it's a difficult period in Formula One for all teams. There is always uncertainty in the future but I think this will not be the case of the team to which I will go."
Kubica also reiterated his disappointment BMW Sauber did not focus all their efforts on trying to win him the Drivers' crown last term and hoped for better fortune with his new employers.
"Everybody tried their best and last year we had a big chance and I think everyone knows my opinion about it," he added.
"Last year, I was really pushing because it might have been the only chance of my life. I hope not but if so, that's life.
"I hope that the team that I will race for, I will not have to desist from fighting for the Championship. My future team will know what to do. I hope there will not be the need to try to convince them."