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Renault reacts as Kubica rift grows
A row is brewing between Renault and Robert Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli over comments attributed to the driver earlier this week.
Renault announced on Wednesday that Kubica would miss the start of the new season, even carrying quotes from Kubica himself saying that "I came to the conclusion that I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season".
However, Morelli says that Renault has twisted the words and that Kubica is still hoping to be fit for the start of next year, while also denying the team's claims that he will be contracted to the team throughout 2012.
"I don't understand why Renault has changed Robert's words," Morelli told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's not true he won't be ready for 2012. He stated he doesn't have certainty that he will be in shape for the first tests in February. We count on and hope to be ready, but in any case the delay will be a few months.
"Renault will go its way with regards to the drivers, while we will look for alternative solutions. His contract does not extend into 2012. It ends at the end of December, so from January 1 will we be free to go in whatever direction. If Robert comes back that's because he will be competitive like before and attractive for the top teams."
Renault boss Eric Boullier reacted with surprise, insisting Morelli approved the wording of the media statement. "He approved the communication so everything was fine," he said. "He approved it, I can show you the email. And now he is upset with I don't know what. He's creating stories from nothing.
Morelli did admit that Kubica's recovery had been taking longer than expected, but that the last month has seen a "nice acceleration" of his progress. "Plans have gone out of the window. He is a bit overweight, but his right leg is almost the same as the left one muscle-wise.
"His elbow's external brace will be removed on Tuesday, so from that point on he will be free from that scrap metal. The hand's sensitivity is OK. The only limit is strength as the forearm's muscles have been immobilised for a long time so there's a lot of work to do. But it's a matter of time, by the end of January the strength should be adequate."