Kubica would welcome Raikkonen
By Jonathan Noble and Mark Glendenning Thursday, July 8th 2010, 15:09 GMT
Robert Kubica says he would welcome Kimi Raikkonen as a team-mate at Renault next year if the squad lures the 2007 world champion back from rallying to Formula 1.
Raikkonen has been linked with a return to F1 with Renault in 2011 after a one-year absence, with the Anglo-French squad now the most competitive team with a vacant seat should the Finn decide to end his World Rally Championship project at the end of the season.
Kubica - who recently announced a contract extension with Renault through to the end of 2012 - emphasised that he did not know whether Raikkonen was likely to be his team-mate or not, but liked the idea of pairing up with the former champion.
"As I always say, I have no problems with my team-mates," said Kubica. "If Kimi will join us it will be very good. I think he is a great and talented driver.
"It might be very, very good driver line-up with him, but I don't know what the future will bring us and who will be my team-mate next year. I think it's too early to say."
GP2 graduate Vitaly Petrov currently occupies Renault's second car, with the Russian's inexperience making Kubica a clear number one within the team. But the Pole said he would have no qualms about sharing top billing in the line-up with a driver like Raikkonen - and believes that would be a better scenario for Renault than his current superiority.
"It's much better, especially in the current days, to have two good drivers in the team - both drivers can help the team and help each other," said Kubica.
"Without testing there is very limited time running. If you have someone you can rely on for information, data and feedback it is much easier for myself. Of course I think there is no downside to having two strong drivers in the team."
Kubica also underlined that his decision to re-sign for Renault was based on his belief in the team's prospects rather than because other options had been closed off. He had been linked with a Ferrari switch before Felipe Massa secured a new deal, and recent rumours also suggested a possible Mercedes move.
"It's quite simple that if I decide to stay at Renault it's because I believe in what I see and what my feelings are," he said.
"I'm not deciding to stay in Renault for two years because then in three years' time someone will leave another team. I'm not thinking about it. I've decided to stay here and I believe we can be competitive in the future, and I'm looking forward to continuing working with Renault."