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GP Week : 13-Oct-2009
n Mark Webber is set to support his team-mate Sebastian Vettel's push for the 2009 F1 world championship. "If the team asks me to, I will drive for Sebastian," he said. n Five-time WRC champ Sebastien Loeb made an error-free GP2 debut at last week's GP2 test at Jerez. The Frenchman was the slowest classified driver of the day, but was less than three seconds off the pace on a wet and drying track. In such tricky circumstances, it was not a bad effort at all. n Bernie Ecclestone has called for test sessions to take place on the Monday after a Grand Prix, on the same track at which a race has just taken place, in a similar fashion to MotoGP. Ecclestone, however, would like this Monday test to be available only to a team's third or test driver and F1 rookie drivers. n GPWeek is expecting a brace of engine announcements in Interlagos this weekend. With design offices the length of the pitlane at breaking point with regard to their deadline for rear- end design, the specification of engines is now a must. Red Bull is hoping to seal a deal with Mercedes, as Williams hopes to finalise details with Renault. Short Straights hor Stra Sor r ho tr r o t h S S St Sh Sh S S S THE Renault F1 Team has won the race to sign highly- rated Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica, who found himself on the driver market following BMW's announced withdrawal from F1 at the end of the 2009 season. Kubica was being courted by both Renault and Toyota for 2010, but the French squad announced that it had beaten its Japanese rival in the race to secure the services of the highly-regarded Pole on Wednesday last week. Kubica was once a member of the Renault Driver Development programme, and won the World Series by Renault title in 2005, for which he was awarded his first F1 test at the wheel of the Renault R25. His return to the Renault fold was thus met with much delight by new team boss Bob Bell. "Ever since Robert made his grand prix debut in 2006, he has been on our radar as one of the most naturally talented drivers of his generation, and he has delivered on that promise so it's great to have secured him in one of our cars next season," said Bell. "Renault has high ambitions and hopes for the future of the team and we feel that Robert can play a big role in fulfilling them." Kubica himself said he was delighted to be joining the team. "I share with Renault a strong winning mentality and feel comfortable with their friendly and open attitude," he said. "I'm highly motivated and optimistic that together we can be at the front of the grid next year and hopefully fighting for the world title." Kubica's move to Renault is a vote of confidence in the team following a difficult month for the squad in which it has seen its top brass dismissed, its top sponsors leave and its reputation pulled through the mud. The big question now rests on who his team-mate will be in 2010. While Romain Grosjean, whom GPWeek expects to remain in his Renault race-seat until the end of 2009, is a possibility for Renault, the team's tester Lucas di Grassi is also a very strong option. Timo Glock has also been mentioned as a potential team-mate for Kubica, as has Russian GP2 stand-out Vitaly Petrov. Robbie for Renault! 6