Team boss Eric Boullier has played down claims Vitaly Petrov is not under consideration for the seat alongside Robert Kubica in 2011.
It is rumoured that a plethora of drivers, including Kimi Raikkoen, Nick Heidfeld, Kamui Kobayashi, Heikki Kovalainen, Christian Klien, Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock, may already be in talks with Renault about next season.
Boullier has been quoted as admitting some of the names mentioned are “realistic because there are already discussions”.
But Russian Petrov, who brings millions in funding to the Enstone based team including the sponsorship of carmaker Lada, said last weekend that his talks with Renault will only take place “later”.
However, Boullier is now quoted by Brazil’s Grande Premio as boosting rookie Petrov’s chances of retaining the seat.
“We are very pleased with what Vitaly has done so far,” he reportedly told a Russian television network.
“The learning curve is still steep, but this is normal for any newcomer. Every new driver in F1 needs time to understand and do his best, and that is hard,” added Boullier.
“But he has worked well so far, so we’re waiting to see how it evolves. Before the end of the season, I’m certain we will begin discussing plans for next year,” he said.
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