Nick Heidfeld has admitted he would like to keep racing a Renault even if Robert Kubica is able to return from injury some time soon.
Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli told the Italian press this week that the Pole might be fit enough to target a comeback in late November's Interlagos finale.
The first paparazzi photos of the 26-year-old since his horror rally crash earlier this year appeared on the internet this week, showing Kubica arrive at the rehabilitation clinic with his girlfriend.
Using crutches to walk into Ricciardo Ceccarelli's Formula Medicine in Viareggio, deep scars could be seen on his apparently immobile right arm.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, that arm was operated on yet again on Tuesday.
"Robert can once again clasp objects with his right hand, but he must still develop the muscle power," admitted Morelli. "The rehabilitation is running positively."
If Robert returns, maybe the second cockpit will be available
If Kubica can return in 2011, it's bad news for his current substitute Heidfeld, who is already under pressure from team boss Eric Boullier to up his game.
"I would gladly stay with this team," the 34-year-old is quoted by the Cologne tabloid Express.
"If Robert returns, maybe the second cockpit will be available," added Heidfeld, apparently referring to the car occupied by Russian Vitaly Petrov, who reportedly is already under contract for the 2012 season and backed by important sponsors.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said that just two weeks ago, Boullier said a return for Kubica in 2011 is "unlikely".