It is more and more likely that Renault, to be called Lotus next year, will kick off the 2012 season without Robert Kubica.
Team boss Eric Boullier admitted in Abu Dhabi that he is concerned that some weeks after the initial October deadline, the communication from the injured Pole's camp has been poor.
The obvious implication is that Renault fears he is not ready to return to Formula One.
"I am patient because I am committed morally to him, he was very important to us," Frenchman Boullier is quoted by autohebdo.fr.
"If we find ourselves in a situation for him to come back, even in the middle of the year, I will try to bring him back but I can do no more," he said.
"If he speaks to no one then what can I say?" he added. "October was a key moment for him but unfortunately I don't think he is ready yet."
Renault's contract with Kubica, 26, expires after Christmas.
I am patient because I am committed morally to him
"What we know already is that Robert cannot commit to a deadline, so we must keep an ongoing communication plan," Boullier is quoted as saying by Spain's AS newspaper.
"Obviously we want him back, so it may be during the (2012) season, why not?"