Robert Kubica Q&A: Qualifying was a bit of a lottery 03 Apr 2010
Fresh from his podium finish in Melbourne, Renaults Robert Kubica is hungry for more success in Malaysia this weekend. And after clinching P6 on the Sepang grid, Kubicas reasonably happy with his chances. Here he discusses Renaults upswing in performance, the Kuala Lumpur track and his hopes for Sundays race
Q: Robert, you finished in P6. How do you feel?
Robert Kubica: The whole qualifying session was a bit of a lottery, in terms of the weather conditions, but we managed Q1 and Q2 quite well. In Q3 it was quite tricky, and maybe it was better to not push too much on the early lap but wait until it dried up. Unfortunately we had information to expect more rain to come, so I pushed quite hard straight away and then the tyres gave up very soon after. On the second quick lap, I lost so much time in the second sector because I had no grip and this has cost us too many positions. But this is how it is - you never know with the weather and cannot do everything perfectly.
Q: What is the teams weather forecast for the race?
RK: It is the same as every day. I would be very surprised if the rain doesnt come. The only question mark is about when it will come, either before the start or during the race. It is quite a lottery, and we have to make sure that we are able to make the right decisions.
Q: Does your Melbourne result reflect the pace of the Renault?
RK: It is always a great feeling to be on the podium, especially when you are not expecting it. For now our core performance is not quite at podium levels yet, so we have to take our chances as they come. In Australia there was a bit of everything. We had some luck, very consistent driving and quite good race pace. With our strategy we were able to finish second on the podium, and this is a truly great result for the team. At the start I was able to gain two or three positions. At Turn One there was some action, but I was able to avoid getting involved in any accidents. In the pits we managed to overtake Felipe Massas Ferrari. Reviewing the race now, I would say that while others made some mistakes, I was able to race without any mistakes and was very consistent, which resulted in some good points for the team.
Q: Has the podium changed the atmosphere in the team?
RK: The atmosphere was already good from the beginning. We know in which direction we have to work. Of course the feeling is better now, not only at the track but also back at the factory. Over the winter we had some doubts, but now that we have a podium finish we can concentrate on this race.
Q: How does the Sepang circuit compare to Sakhir and Albert Park?
RK: This circuit is quite different to the two others. Here we have everything - high-speed and low-speed corners, long straights and big braking points. So in the race it will be quite interesting to see where we end up.
Q: Are you happy that this year the race is starting an hour earlier than last year?
RK: I would say, yes. But I did not have any real experience here last year because I retired at the very beginning with an engine failure. But in regards to the rain, and the visibility when it is cloudy, it is much better.