Robert Kubica has emerged as a leading candidate to switch to Toyota next year, and team president John Howett also admitted at Suzuka that he would happily sign Kimi Raikkonen.

Robert Kubica has emerged as a leading candidate to switch to Toyota next year, and team president John Howett also admitted at Suzuka that he would happily sign Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen, however, is expected to switch to McLaren, and it was strongly believed that Kubica was set to be confirmed next week as Renault's new driver for 2010.

But Pole Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli was photographed meeting with Howett at Suzuka on Friday morning, and Howett later told reporters: "We know who we would like in the car and we are working hard on it."

He also admitted that Toyota has "always expressed interest in Kimi".

Toyota for now is holding off re-signing Timo Glock or Jarno Trulli for next season, and it was suggested that this may have something to do with the uncertainty about the Cologne based team's future.

But Howett, hinting that Trulli will almost certainly leave the team, confirmed that Toyota is seriously looking at installing a completely fresh lineup.

"We want the options as we think there could be quite a big movement in the driver market," said the Briton, who said top drivers would be "stupid" not to consider Toyota as an option for 2010 and beyond.

"He (Glock) did a fantastic job in Singapore (finishing second) and we are talking to him, but honestly speaking we feel that could have been the result in other races if we could qualify in that position.

"I am sorry, it is a very tough life, and our job is to deliver results," Howett added. "We have a car that is more regularly capable of being on the podium and much closer to the top this year. We are not delivering, and there are things beyond the team and the chassis itself.

"We need to keep all our options open, and to be able to catch somebody if the opportunity comes, we need two seats available."

 

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