While Autosport is reporting today that Renault boss Eric Bouiller does want to meet with the former world champion, it is this quote that has me concerned:
“It is definitely getting closer to when we will make a decision,” Boullier told AUTOSPORT. “But we really want to consider all of the options.
“I decided to tell some drivers that we will not carry on discussions with them, so we know wait and see – but Kimi remains one of our scenarios.
“I have said many times that I want to meet with him first before we do anything more. I want to understand more about his wish to come back.”
Can anyone “understand” Kimi? If that’s the hurdle, I’m afraid we may as well put money on Bernie Ecclestone winning a slam-dunk contest.
Of course, it isn’t as though Vitaly Petrov has secured his seat in 2011:
“It is still frustrating because he keeps doing mistakes,” explained Boullier. “We put a lot of pressure on him and definitely he was not on the pace on Friday but he was there on Saturday.
“He qualified 13th with a crash in Q2, so it was a strange situation. The race could have been good, but he opened up a little bit too much the door and [Nico] Hulkenberg did a kamikaze move on him. It is racing, and it was unfortunate.”
When asked whether the decision on Petrov rested on commercial factors or performance, Boullier said: “It is definitely not a money issue. It is only the understanding for him to fit in F1 – and for us to give as much support as we need to give him to make sure he could be, shall I say, a decent second driver to score points next year.
“If Robert is fighting like now for fifth position and Petrov can finish seventh or eighth then that is fine. This is what we expect from a young driver. And it means his learning curve is still improving. If he is already at the limit, then it is a different matter.”
I will give Bouiller credit for letting this story continue. Other than Kubica’s finish in Monaco, this is probably the longest string of Renault coverage we’ve had all year — and it’s been a pretty good year for the team. But milk it, Eric, milk it. Maybe you can get an extra sponsor or two out of it.
But back to Kimi. Does anyone think he can or will make a compelling argument on why he wants back in Formula 1? Has he ever been in that position, since maybe his earliest days in the sport?
If you were Bouiller, what would Kimi have to say to convince you to hire him?