Everything's changing for the Renault F1 team. The team principal has been barred from the sport indefinitely and the technical director has been mercifully banned for five years. They've already booted out their car-crashing, whistle-blowing driver Nelson Piquet Jr. and replaced him with rookie Romain Grosjean. Their star driver, Fernando Alonso, who brought two titles home for the team, is leaving for Ferrari. And they've lost their title sponsor ING. The team has hit just about rock bottom, but now it's time for them to get up and begin rebuilding for next season, counting their lucky stars they've been allowed to participate altogether. And this is their first step.
Following weeks, if not months of speculation, Robert Kubica has been announced to be moving to Renault for next season. The promising Polish driver – who took the checkered flag last year at the Canadian Grand Prix – has been racing for BMW Sauber for the past four seasons since entering Formula One. But now that BMW has pulled the plug, Kubica's headed to the French team.
There's no telling who, at this point, will be driving alongside him next year at Renault, but Grosjean has so far failed to earn his keep. Speculation places his equally talented BMW team-mate Nick Heidfeld alongside him, but nothing's been announced yet. Details in the press release after the jump.
[Source: Renault F1 | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]
Robert Kubica joins the Renault F1 Team in 2010
The Renault F1 Team is delighted to announce that Robert Kubica will drive for the team from the 2010 season onwards.
The 24-year-old Polish driver is one of the most highly-rated young drivers in Formula One, who has proved his ability as a race-winning driver and whose aggressive and consistent racing style have seen him as a contender for last year's drivers' title.
Team Principal, Bob Bell, commented: "We are very excited to have signed Robert with the Renault F1 Team starting next season. Ever since Robert made his Grand Prix debut in 2006, he has been on our radar as one of the most naturally talented drivers of his generation and he has delivered on that promise so it's great to have secured him in one of our cars next season. Renault has high ambitions and hopes for the future of the team and we feel that Robert can play a big role in fulfilling them."
Robert Kubica commented: "I am very happy I will be joining Renault in the 2010 season. I feel I have a special connection with this team because in 2005 I won the World Series by Renault. This gave me the chance to test with the team in Barcelona, which led to my debut in Formula One."
Robert continued: "I share with Renault a strong winning mentality and feel comfortable with their friendly and open attitude. I'm highly motivated and optimistic that together we can be at the front of the grid next year and hopefully fighting for the world title."