Heidfeld to Renault? Kubica to Mercedes? UPDATE #2 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld is a candidate to be Robert Kubica's teammate in 2010, Renault team boss Eric Boullier has confirmed.
New teams USF1 and Campos aside, the only established team with a vacant seat for next season is the newly Genii Capital-controlled outfit.
Boullier told the German website motorsport-total.com that "several drivers" are in the running, including two with experience and two rookies.
"The nationality is completely open. Our second driver could be a Frenchman, but also he could be Russian, Chinese, German or Austrian," he added.
It is likely he is referring to Vitaly Petrov (Russian), Ho-Pin Tung (Chinese), Heidfeld (German) and Christian Klien (Austrian).
Asked specifically whether 32-year-old Heidfeld is on the list, Boullier answered: "It would be a lie to say no.
"For a long time however he has been Robert's teammate. The question is whether we want to have the pair together again. But he is on our list," the Frenchman added.
He also indicated that drivers with sponsorship funds could be persuasive.
"First, we need to return to stability and ethics. Secondly, we need sponsors. We are waiting until we have these elements and then we will make our (driver) decision," said Boullier.01/19/10 Nick Heidfeld is closer and closer to a deal with the Renault F1 Team. The French outfit, who earlier signed Heidfeld's 2009 team mate, Robert Kubica, is currently assessing several drivers for the remaining seat, among them: Nick Heidfeld, Romain Grosjean and Takuma Sato.
Heidfeld seems to be the best opportunity for Renault who is searching for a driver that can push Robert Kubica to the limit. The outfit says it will have a driver confirmed by the launch of their 2010 contender on January 31.
12/14/09 French newspaper Le Parisien reports that officials with the team have admitted that the drivers on their short-list for the 2nd seat at Renault were Heidfeld, Kobayashi and Kovalainen. However Kovalainen was just announced at Lotus. The article says that Kubica will remain, and that the team will continue with the Renault name until 2011, and will announce a share-purchase on Wednesday.
We doubt Heidfeld will be announced on Wednesday, as he is still waiting for Mercedes' decision on the ride he really covets, though the Sauber team is high on his list too. But surely, if the Mercedes GP option fails, then the Renault option may be his best course.
Interestingly , with regard to Kubica's place, it was mentioned that Kubica has received calls from multiple teams, namely Mercedes GP. So this could still get pretty interesting.
We would be hard-pressed to find such an interesting silly season, with so many drivers on the market that are all proven talents and race winners.