Renault team boss Eric Boullier has once again defended the decision to allow Robert Kubica to take part in the rally that looks set to rule him out of the F1 season.
The Pole was left with multiple injuries after his accident on the Ronde di Andora rally and could be ruled out for the remainder of 2011 – despite admitting he is keen to be back in action before the end of the year [See separate story HERE
Boulier and Renault have come under fire following the accident for allowing Kubica to take part in the rally at such a stage of the season but the team chief once again insisted that the decision to let the Pole compete was the correct one and that the end result was unfortunate.
“I stick on my point of view,” he told reporters in Jerez. “I'm a racing guy, I've known Robert for five or six years. Robert is a racer. He loves go-karts, he loves rallying, he loves Formula 1. He's just like a wild cat, if you put him in a cage you'd get him mad.
“At the end we do what we believe is best for the team and for the driver. Yes, it's very unfortunate and sad he's in the hospital today. But before this corner he was the happiest man on earth. I guess, except he wanted to be world champion.”
Renault is moving towards replacing Kubica with Nick Heidfeld, with the German due to test the R31 over the course of the weekend.
Tonio Liuzzi and Bruno Senna are also believed to be in the mix with the likes of Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen being ruled out – the latter due to his WRC commitments and the fact he had previously told the team he was happy in rallying. However, Raikkonen has since told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3
that it's 'hard to say' when asked whether he could make a short-term return to F1.