Bruno Senna, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nick Heidfeld are the three drivers that Renault is considering as the replacement for Robert Kubica this season, team boss Eric Boullier has said.
The injuries that Kubica picked up in his rally crash last weekend look set to keep him out for most of the season ahead, at least – meaning his Lotus Renault squad needs to find a stand-in for him that can capitalize on the promising early form of the R31. Although the team's lead reserve driver Bruno Senna has a year of F1 racing under his belt, his lack of experience in developing a front-running car may force Renault to look elsewhere for someone who can help guide the team through 2011.
Speaking at a press conference at the Santa Corona hospital on Tuesday, Boullier said that the team was evaluating its options for a Kubica replacement, and suggested the current plan for one of the reserve drivers to test at Jerez this week.
"The first one driving will at the moment be our first test driver," Boullier told IVG.it. "In the meantime, we will look for Kubica's substitute: the names considered are Senna, Liuzzi and Heidfeld.
"The team is close to Robert, we wait for him with open arms and we hope he can come back before the end of the season."
Boullier said that Kubica was in high spirits considering his injuries, having visited him with teammate Vitaly Petrov. "We have been with Robert for about 15 minutes, we have joked and we have found him very well. Obviously, he immediately wanted to know the team's program for this season."