F1 2010: The Future Of Renault F1 and Robert Kubica Unfolds

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIINovember 6, 2009

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 31:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault drives during the final practice session prior to qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on October 31, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

With Renault toying with the idea of quitting Formula 1, yet another driver sees his 2010 chances dwindle. Robert Kubica was quickly snapped up by Renault after BMW made their intentions of departing from the sport clear in mid-season. The former title contender seemed to have at least found himself a seat.

The Pole was rightfully plucked by Renault to head their 2010 season. The reasons were simple; he is a driver of controlled pace and consistency and has a great deal to offer a team who needed to fill a massive void left by Fernando Alonso’s exit.

Yet the recent news that the Renault F1 team are contemplating disbanding comes as a further blow to all who work within the garage and also their new driver.

Their decision to contemplate such a move however seems more out of cowardice than it does logic. Whereas Toyota left for financial reasons, Renault’s choice seems relied upon their race fixing scandal coupled with a lacklustre season where throughout their Spanish double champion saved their blushes, outperforming the car to the maximum of his ability.

Without the Spaniard, Renault may have been in grave danger of finishing the season with a single digit tally of points. Realistically only Toro Rosso and Force India were weaker.

They have deferred their decision as whether to leave the sport until the end of the year, which in some ways will be frustratingly nerve wracking for Kubica as a drive he thought was written in stone could therefore be jeopardised at a time when further line up decisions will be made for other teams.

For someone with the calibre and potential of Kubica this would portray an appalling handling of the situation by Renault if they did decide to scarper. The resolution of them disappearing off of the 2010 calendar is that it would be Robert who would suffer more.

What would probably be for the best intentions for the team is to allow Kubica to look elsewhere now as opposed to months from now when it may be too late.

The driver deserves a good team, and not a team who from the outset will provide him with a mountain of issues.

Renault of course may be trying to enact some sympathy back to their team after recent controversies and lack of pace. A threat to leave the sport may be an attempt to challenge the world of Formula 1 as to how much they are wanted.

Their fall from grace has been somewhat tragic since Alonso’s title winning seasons. It also only took a minority of people to damage the teams’ reputation with the aforementioned race scandal from Singapore 2008. Of course the FIA did not take lightly to this and punished those who required it.

Their major concern for their survival though seems to lie at the hands of their CEO more than anything else. Carlos Ghosn who took the role in 2005 promised a commitment to the sport but was not shy in portraying his viewpoint and commented on Formula 1 as a business that was only profitable for Renault if successful results continued. The simple reality that he foretold was that as soon as Renault began to struggle he may be inclined to pull the plug.

Yet the Renault team have built a solid foundation beforehand and alongside the large mistake by a small dose of people they should now allow it to affect their future prospects. A grid without Renault would look quite bare given their triumphs in recent years. Robert Kubica in a car unworthy of his talents would also be a huge and unwarranted travesty.