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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Robert Kubica not sure to stay at new-look Renault

By Andrew Benson

Robert Kubica
Kubica wants more information before deciding on his future

Robert Kubica is not certain to stay at the Renault team following their takeover by new owners.

Luxembourg investment company Genii Capital is to buy 75% of the team, which will be run jointly with Renault.

The Pole signed to replace Ferrari-bound Fernando Alonso as Renault's lead driver but wants more information about the new arrangement before committing.

"It's a positive reaction but we have asked for more information," his manager Daniele Morelli told BBC Sport.

Morelli, who said he was pleased Renault's future had been secured in F1, added that it was "not automatic" that Kubica would stay with the team.

"We would like to know about Genii Capital and who is doing what in the team - a partner can be a sleeping partner or a controlling partner," he said.

"The cards have changed in respect of when we signed and it's important Renault give us full information.

I must believe that Renault have researched their new partners because they have the responsibility of the Renault brand

Daniele Morelli
Robert Kubica's manager

"We are not against the new position in principle, but it is important to know who will run the team and what kind of strategies they will use. It could be positive or negative.

"We need some time - at least a few days - to evaluate the new situation so I am not in a position to say we will leave or stay."

Kubica, who has won one grand prix in his three-year F1 career, is one of the most highly rated drivers in the sport.

But there are not many options available to him should he decide not to continue at Renault.

The best on paper is the vacant seat at Mercedes - formerly Brawn - alongside Nico Rosberg, but that is expected to be taken by Michael Schumacher.

Of the experienced teams, the only other vacancies are at Sauber, for whom Kubica has raced throughout his career in its former guise as BMW Sauber.

There remain vacancies at new teams US F1 and Campos, but both are understood to require drivers to bring sponsorship, while Kubica commands a multi-million pound salary.

Another option could be for him to take a year off and wait for a vacancy at Ferrari in 2011, when Felipe Massa's contract runs out.

The Italian team are known to rate Kubica highly.

But Morelli hinted that, as long as he and Kubica can be reassured of the merits of Renault's decision, he would honour his contract.

And he drew a parallel with the situation at McLaren in the early 1980s, when wealthy Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh bought a shareholding in the team and enabled it to grow quickly into the dominant force in F1.

"Things may even be improved," Morelli said. "I remember when McLaren were a 'garage' team and with the entry of Mansour Ojjeh they became a top team.

"If this is the same thing, it's a good solution.

"I don't have sufficient information to judge the new partner but I must believe that Renault have researched their new partners because they have the responsibility of the Renault brand.


"I would imagine Renault has very strong guarantees about what the future will be.

"I don't see any fundamental issue that creates a concern - our fundamental issue is that we have a car that performs.

"So the fundamental issue is at which stage is the development of the car? The feeling is OK (on that).

"The concern is maybe that the the situation has created a delay because uncertainty can slow down the endeavours of the staff."

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see also
Renault sell team but stay in F1
16 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Red Bull hope over Renault engine
16 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Kubica may not stay with Renault
16 Dec 09 |  Formula 1

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