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Q&A with Renault's Robert Kubica 08 Oct 2010

Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010

It was perhaps no great surprise that the Red Bulls were very competitive in Japan on Friday. However, Robert Kubica’s pace in the Renault was a bit of a revelation. After finishing third during both sessions, behind Red Bull team mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, Kubica is feeling reasonably satisfied...

Q: Robert, you have had quite a good Friday…
Robert Kubica:
Well, Friday is all about testing the car and different settings. We have done our normal preparations, although the weather looks quite difficult for tomorrow. If it does rain tomorrow it was very important to do most of the preparations for the race today, concentrating on the balance of the car, as Sunday will most probably be dry. So we have not worked to prepare for a wet qualifying, as it is not really possible to simulate a wet track in dry conditions. We have approached today as if we would do on any Friday, knowing that we will not run on slick tyres tomorrow. But then, who knows what will happen?

Q: You had a brief moment during practice. What happened?
RK:
I lost the car at Turn Seven, because suddenly I had a lot of oversteer. The afternoon was quite windy. This makes our lives much more difficult, especially in the first sector, as you have a lot of wind from behind. But luckily nothing happened, and I could come back on track.

Q: Do you enjoy this track?
RK:
It is very nice, although last year I did enjoy it much more. For some reason the first sector was much easier, and much more fun to drive. This year, even though we are more competitive than I was last year, we have problems in Sector One, which we need to fix, as this sector is the most fun to drive. If we look at the last few races, actually we should be even more competitive here. But we are more or less where we expected to be. The gap to the Red Bulls is more or less normal. Some teams are running with a high-fuel load, as the qualifying is expected to be wet, and some teams aren’t, which is mixing up the results a bit.

Q: How physical is this race?
RK:
It is quite tough I have to say. It was even tough in Monza, which is normally not the case, as about 75 percent of the lap you drive one handed to operate the F-duct. Here in Japan, you drive a big part of the track with one hand only too. But if you have flat-out corners it is definitely a bit tricky, but not too difficult. If you have wet conditions you are doing this a lot less, as you are operating with different grip, and therefore you are activating and operating the F-duct a lot less. Also the braking point is much earlier, so in the wet it should be less physical.

Q: How does your car behave in wet conditions?
RK:
There are different kind of wet conditions, it really depends on how much water you are dealing with. You have to be able to read the conditions. For example the tyre pressure has a big influence on your car in wet conditions, and this also depends on the amount of standing water. Looking at last year’s races, you could see that some drivers are good in some wet conditions, and not so good in other wet conditions. So this makes it very hard to judge even your own competitiveness in wet conditions.

Q: Do you think the Ferraris will be quick?
RK:
Since we are most likely dealing with mixed conditions, it will be a bit of a lottery. It doesn’t make too much sense to look at the timesheets today.

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