A race weekend with Robert Kubica 29 Apr 2008
BMW Saubers Robert Kubica may have only started 26 Grands Prix so far in his Formula One career but he has already developed something of a routine when it comes to his race weekend.
We caught up with Kubica in Barcelona, following this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, to get a few tips on his favourite places to stay, the calendars top nightlife, who he likes to socialise with during an event and how he winds down after a race
Q: You dont take to the track until Friday morning, but when do you like to fly in?
Robert Kubica: I generally arrive on Wednesday evening, since work starts on Thursday morning with the technical meetings and the media time. When its an overseas race I arrive at the latest on the Tuesday evening in order to get used to the time change.
Q: Do you make an effort to discover your surroundings at a race, or do you stick to the airport-hotel-track-airport itinerary?
RK: When we were flying to Australia for my first Grand Prix in 2006, my manager told me that he had been there several times but had never seen a kangaroo. I quickly realised that he was right - theres simply no time for off-track activities.
Q: Whats your exercise regime over a race weekend? Does it vary according to the race location, demands of the circuit etc?
RK: No, there are no specific needs for different tracks. I just eat very simple and light food, personally prepared by my physio, Josef Leberer.
Q: Whats your preferred accommodation at races - city hotel, hotel near the circuit, your own motorhome near the paddock?
RK: Id rather choose proximity to the race track, rather than the hotels number of stars
Q: Anything you have to have provided in your hotel room, or any luxuries you always bring with you from home?
RK: For me the hotel represents just a bed.
Q: Do you enjoy entertaining friends and family during a race weekend?
RK: Family and friends watch me on TV. Race tracks are my place of work where I have to concentrate on my duties.
Q: We were in Barcelona this weekend, what do you associate with this circuit?
RK: Its the track where I had my first test in a F1 car in late 2005. I think that my performance on that occasion contributed to me signing my BMW Sauber contract and therefore I consider Montmelo as a positive track. And the race this weekend fully supported my sentiment towards this track.
Q: Do you get the chance to go out and socialise on Friday and Saturday night?
RK: Yes, at weekends when I am home.
Q: Any drivers you particularly like hanging out with?
RK: Fernando (Alonso), Giancarlo (Fisichella), Rubens (Barrichello) and Nick (Heidfeld) also.
Q: Your favourite race for nightlife?
RK: Singapore, but unfortunately I think I will be busy .
Q: Whats the best night out youve had at a Grand Prix? And have you ever overslept the next morning?
RK: After my first podium in Monza, I drove all night and I reached Krakow I think around 11am Monday morning.
Q: What do you have for breakfast on a race Sunday?
RK: Some fruits and some pasta with oil around 11.30.
Q: How much do you drink over a race weekend? And what?
RK: Just fresh water in the paddock and hot water during the race.
Q: How do you spend the morning on race Sunday?
RK: Media time, a Paddock Club appearance, an autograph session, the pre-race debriefing, the drivers parade. Then the pit lane eventually opens
Q: How do you like to get to the circuit on Sunday morning? Do you drive yourself?
RK: Yes, I always do.
Q: How do you like to spend the hour or so before the race? Any superstitions or pre-race rituals you always go through to bring you luck?
RK: No, I am not superstitious.
Q: Do you have a lucky charm?
RK: Not really.
Q: What do you do to stay calm as youre sat on the grid awaiting the formation lap?
RK: I am generally calm and try to focus on the work the mechanics are doing around me.
Q: How do you wind down after the race?
RK: I start to think about the next one.
Q: If things dont go your way and you retire early, do you prefer to get away as soon as possible, or hang out and watch the rest of the race?
RK: I watch the race. Moreover, the regulations state that all drivers must remain available until one hour after the end of the race.