Sep.20 (GMM/Inautonews.com) An authoritative German magazine has questioned Renault’s rush to finalise its 2012 driver lineup.
Boss Eric Boullier said recently he wants to decide the next race lineup by mid October, despite injured regular Robert Kubica – who does not have a contract – only planning to get back at the wheel of a touring car next month.
The Genii-owned team already has Vitaly Petrov under contract for next season, while Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean are both currently available for the other race seat.
Renault remains one of the few attractive teams with an available seat for 2012.
Potentially available will be Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), as well as Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India).
Williams, meanwhile, is yet to decide upon Pastor Maldonado’s teammate for 2012, meaning that Rubens Barrichello could also be on the market.
All of the drivers looking for a seat will probably therefore wait for Williams and Renault rather than sign for one of the potential alternatives, such as Virgin or HRT.
So why Boullier’s rush?
“One can imagine that by mid October Kubica will not be able to say definitively whether he is race-ready for 2012.
“By imposing a strict deadline, has the 26-year-old from Krakow (Kubica) been rejected already?” wondered Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
One alternative for Kubica might be Williams, despite the Pole not having any sponsorship to add to the millions brought by his theoretical teammate Maldonado.
The famous British team, however, would have some money to spend by ousting Barrichello, amid reports Kimi Raikkonen recently visited the factory at Grove.
Also linked with Williams is German Sutil, who could transfer the backing of his personal sponsor Medion from Force India.
“I am afraid we have no comment to make on this subject,” Williams spokeswoman Claire Williams, asked for confirmation German Sutil also recently visited Grove, told us on Monday.