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Renault in no rush to sign second driver
Despite having the most talked about available seat in Formula One, Renault's new team principal Eric Boullier has said he is in no rush to sign a second driver.
Renault is scheduled to launch its 2010 car on January 29, the day before testing will start in Valencia. However Boullier confirmed in an exclusive interview with ESPNF1 that this is not the deadline by which he needs to have signed the second driver.
"Robert Kubica will drive in Valencia," he said. "He has been working with the team and was here last week for a seat fitting. He is ready to run. It would have been more convenient to have signed both drivers before the start of testing, but I am under no pressure to decide. Robert is more than capable of carrying out the initial shake down work."
He also revealed that he is in talks with more than five drivers for the remaining race seat at the team. He confirmed that talks have taken place with Kubica's former team-mate Nick Heidfeld, and also with Takuma Sato, Christian Klien, and Romain Grosjean. But he is clear in his views will not be swayed by drivers who bring large sponsorship packages.
"I am looking for talent first and foremost, but then after that I do need to consider the sponsorship opportunities," said Bouiller. "People say we are only looking at Petrov because he is bringing a lot of money, but he is not the richest driver we are talking to. We must not forget he came second in the GP2 championship in 2009 to Nico Hulkenberg. His talent alone is more than enough to secure him an F1 drive.
"I must also look at the company strategy, we need to score points and that is much easier to do with an experienced driver."