Renault F1 looks to sign big names for next season

With Robert Kubica's contract up for renewal at the end of this season, speculation has been rampant around the F1 paddock as to where he'll end up next. The highly rated Polish driver debuted with BMW-Sauber in 2006 after winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title the year before, and went on to land as high as fourth place in the drivers' standings two years later. This season the Pole switched to Renault and is sitting in sixth place so far after a couple of notable podium finishes. Reports now indicate that he's looking to stay with the French team – which won back-to-back world titles just a few years ago – for another few years, so long as Renault can secure funding to compete at the top.

To that end, Renault is reportedly in discussions with MasterCard as title sponsor, something the team has been missing in the wake of the Crashgate scandal and subsequent dismissal of its top personnel. The credit firm had sponsored the Lola team in 1997, but failed to make it to the grid entirely. MasterCard's sponsorship money, however, could be just what Renault and Kubica need to get back on track.

And what about the second seat, you ask? That's currently filled by Vitaly Petrov, a young Russian rookie that Renault signed for financial concerns. With more cash on hand, the team could look to sign a more experienced and capable driver, and has been recently linked with bringing Kimi Raikkonen back to the series. This could get interesting.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Andrew Ferraro/LAT/Renault]

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