BMW Sauber's impending withdrawal from Formula One has thrown the traditional 'silly season' an unexpected curve ball, with both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld added to the list of drivers seeking employment for 2010.
While Heidfeld continues to be linked to a possible return to Williams, where he enjoyed relative success before Mario Thiessen moved to steal him from under the Grove team's noses, Kubica's options appear to be more widespread - and include the surprising possibility of staying put.
Having enjoyed BMW Sauber's most competitive showing for some time at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, securing fourth place ahead of Heidfeld despite receiving first lap front wing damage, it has emerged that Kubica may indeed be prepared to remain with his current team should a buyer be found to take over from BMW.
Like Heidfeld, Kubica has been linked to a move to Williams for 2010, while Renault is also expected to make overtures to bring him back into the fold - the Pole was a World Series by Renault champion and once tested for the regie
's F1 operation - should Fernando Alonso be confirmed at Ferrari over the Italian Grand Prix weekend. Championship leader Brawn also remains a potential destination, following repeated meetings between team and driver.
According to the BBC
, however, Kubica is in no hurry to put pen to paper, amid speculation that he is also contemplating honouring the final year of his current contract should BMW succeed in finding a buyer for its F1 arm.
The British broadcaster's Mole
column claims that Kubica would be 'happy to stay with the team' after forging close ties to both Thiessen and original founder Peter Sauber, who continue to work towards rescuing the operation following BMW management's shock decision to pull the financial plug in July.
The report speculates that Kubica would pursue confirmation of a one-year deal that would allow him to move on in 2011 if necessary.