NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Kubica and Ferrari
The word on the Abu Dhabi street said that Renault may not be able to wait long enough on Robert Kubica's fitness before deciding its 2012 driver line-up.
The suggestion is that the team will go forward with Vitaly Petrov and either Bruno Senna or Romain Grosjean.
What is not being spoken so much, is whether Kubica, once fit again, would want to return with Lotus Renault GP. The team will finish a distant fifth in the constructors championship with less than half the points of fourth-placed Mercedes, themselves scoring less than half the total of third-placed Ferrari.
Kubica is 27 this year and made his F1 debut five years ago now. Providing his capabilities are undiminished and given his reputation, he will undoubtedly have designs on a seat in a front-running car.
In Abu Dhabi a little bird told us that at least two teams other than Renault have told the Pole that there is a car waiting for him whenever he is ready, one of them being a top four team.
That, we believe, is Ferrari. To many, it makes little sense for Ferrari to have re-signed Felipe Massa for a seventh season, the Brazilian having underperformed alongside Fernando Alonso for two years comparative to the form he displayed in 2008 when he so nearly won the championship.
Alonso is third in this year's championship with 245 points to second place man Jenson Button's 255, while Massa has scored just 108 and has not looked like winning a race. If Ferrari is serious about winning the constructors championship, that is an issue that needs to addressed.
The rumour mill suggested recently that Ferrari was considering dropping Massa in favour of Nico Rosberg, but the mill was wrong. Massa has been confirmed again and Rosberg has extended his Mercedes contract.
We would not be awfully surprised to learn, however, that Ferrari has a release clause in the contract with Massa that would permit them to take Kubica when he has proven his fitness.
Quite what Alonso, signed to 2016, would think of that, is another question. Alonso is friendly with Kubica and they have always shown strong mutual respect. It would certainly be a combination more than capable of delivering the constructors championship! It might also be a little combustible‚Äö√Ñ¬∂
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