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With speculation around who will partner Nico Hulkenberg at Renault in the 2018 season, two names have regularly been surfacing recently.

The intent is, of course, to have a teammate who will push Hulkenberg even further.

Former driver Robert Kubica, who hasn’t driven in F1 since the 2010 season due to injury and Fernando Alonso, who is desperately seeking a more competitive drive for next season should both represent huge potential challenges for next season.

After suffering a horrific rallying accident in 2011, Kubica has been edging ever closer to a return to the sport. It would be a remarkable comeback story after the driver had earlier been told that his chances of competing at the top level were all but gone.

There are even rumours he could drive in free practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix with a view to taking Jolyon Palmer’s drive before the end of the season.

Although a return for Alonso seems unlikely, given the fact that Renault will not be able to offer him the title-winning car that he is desperately seeking, his options seem to be narrowing down by the day after both Ferrari and Mercedes have reportedly decided against giving him a shot.

On the topic, Hulkenberg did not say who he would prefer as a teammate, rather emphasising that it was the team’s decision.

“It’s Renault’s decision, not mine, and the team needs to choose the best drivers it can. I don’t care if Kubica or Alonso come. As I said, I have no preference.”

Then, asked if a return for Kubica was really a possibility, he said, “We all saw the severity of his injuries, but I cannot say what the current situation is. What is certain is that he was always a fighter, so that is absolutely in his favour.”

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