Kubica signs new Renault deal

Robert Kubica has signed a contract extension with Renault until the end of the 2012 Formula One season.

The Polish driver has impressed in his first season with the Enstone-based team, scoring podiums in Australia and Monaco, and sits sixth in the drivers' championship standings heading into this weekend's British Grand Prix.

Kubica said: "It was a straightforward decision for me to continue with a team where I feel at home.

"What's important for me is to be in the right atmosphere, with a good group of people, where everybody is pulling in the same direction. This is what we have tried to build from the beginning of my time with Renault."

The announcement comes just weeks after Kubica's hopes of a move to Ferrari were scuppered when Felipe Massa penned a new two-year deal with the Prancing Horse marque.

With fellow front-running teams McLaren and Red Bull Racing also committed to retaining their existing drivers until at least the end of next season, Kubica's options were limited.

Renault's form this season has nevertheless been strong, with Kubica qualifying in the top 10 at every race so far, including a front-row start at Monaco.

The former BMW Sauber driver has won just once in a 67-race F1 career, taking the chequered flag at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, but is optimistic he can add to that tally with the Renault team, who themselves are bidding to return to the level of performance that brought them back-to-back constructors' titles in 2005 and 2006.

"I think we have already achieved a lot together, and I believe that with plenty of effort, time and the right approach, we can move even further forward," Kubica continued.

"That is certainly our target, so we will keep working hard and pushing on every front, not just for the rest of this season but also for next year when there are more big rule changes on the way. I am really looking forward to the challenge."

The loss of the 25-year-old Kubica to a rival team would have been a major blow to Renault, who are desperate to attract headlines for all the right reasons following the unseemly saga of the 'crashgate' scandal which led to the removal of senior team members Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds last year.

"We are delighted that Robert will remain with us for the next two seasons and I would like to thank him for the faith he has shown in this team," said Renault team principal Eric Boullier.

"There have been many rumours surrounding his future in recent weeks, which were a tribute to how well he has driven this year, and we are very happy to have agreed a multi-year deal.

"Our clear goal is to become title contenders over the next two years. To do so, we need a driver of Robert's calibre: somebody who is fast, totally committed and doesn't make mistakes.

"His performances during the first half of the 2010 season were flawless, and we hope to achieve great things together in the future."

Kubica moved to Renault over the winter after being left without a drive following the withdrawal of BMW at the end of last season, a move which ended the Pole's four-year association with the German manufacturer.

He made his grand prix debut with BMW in 2006 when the team drafted him in for the final six races of the season as the replacement for the under-performing Jacques Villeneuve.

He scored his first podium for the team at the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix and with six further podium finishes - including his maiden win in Canada - went on to emerge as an unlikely title contender for that year's championship.

Last season was a major disappointment following the highs of 2008, with the BMW badly off the pace, bringing Kubica a paltry return of just 17 points.

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