Formula One team Renault has confirmed Robert Kubica will miss at least the early part of the 2012 season as he struggles to recover from serious injuries sustained in a rally crash this year.
Renault had been hoping Kubica would be fit to resume his role as the team's No. 1 driver from the start of 2012 but said Wednesday that he will not be ready to do so.
The team said in a statement that a 2012 program was being designed for Kubica for when he is ready to resume and that there were ongoing talks about extending his contract.
Renault said it would talk to "a few drivers" as it assesses its options for next season, with current drivers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna and test driver Romain Grosjean considered to be the leading candidates for the race seats. Grosjean drove for the team in seven races in 2009 as a replacement for the disgraced Nelson Piquet Jr.