Team boss Eric Boullier shrugged his shoulders and answered “I don’t know” when asked if Robert Kubica has a future with Lotus.
The team, together with the Polish driver last year when known as Renault, have been waiting throughout 2011 for Kubica to recover from serious injuries sustained in a pre-season rally crash.
But there have been rumours of ructions between the team and the driver’s management camps — the latest quarrel being the wording of a statement announcing that Kubica is not ready to immediately return in 2012.
The BBC quotes Boullier as describing the status of the relationship as at “point zero”.
In the meantime, Lotus has signed new GP2 champion Romain Grosjean to be 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen’s full-time teammate next season.
“We have been waiting for Robert to understand his plans,” said Boullier. “If we can help him get in back in F1 we will, but we have signed our drivers for next year and we want to stick with them.”
The Frenchman also indicated that Lotus will only release test cars and make available the team’s simulator for Kubica if the 27-year-old – who has been linked with Red Bull and Ferrari – commits for the “long term”.
Another former Renault/Lotus driver with an uncertain future after the Grosjean signing is Bruno Senna. One possibility for him is a return to his early 2011 role as reserve driver.
Asked about his plans for 2012, the Brazilian told the Norfolk Advertiser: “I don’t know yet — I’m still working on next season, but I think it’s looking much better than last season at this same time and let’s hope we can have good news.”