Robert Kubica Q&A: More downforce needed to close on Red Bull 27 May 2010
Robert Kubica may be excited about his teams performance so far this season, but the Renault driver is keeping it well under wraps. And rather than getting carried away by his third-place finish in Monaco, Kubica is keen to stay realistic about the French teams chances and hopes theyll simply continue to work as hard as possible to glean as much as they can from the R30
Q: How are you feeling after the first six races?
Robert Kubica: It has been a positive start to the season, as before it began we were not expecting such a good result. The last race in Monaco - how well we performed - was a great surprise for the whole team. At the other races we have used our opportunities well, like in Australia and Malaysia we were able to score good points.
Q: What do you think needs to happen to pull closer to Red Bull?
RK: I dont think that our goal is to target Red Bull. To be realistic, I think that they are still miles away and much quicker than us. At the moment we are proceeding with our own plan to improve the car and consistently bring upgrades to every race, and this is what will try to do for the rest of the season.
Q: How difficult will it be to overtake during the Turkish Grand Prix?
RK: Overtaking in Formula One is very difficult in general, but of course it is easier here than in Monaco. I see the best chance here after the long straight, the back straight, before braking into Turn 12. You might get a good chance for overtaking if you get a good exit out of Turn 10. But its very difficult to do so, unless the guy in front of you makes a mistake.
Q: Do you think that this year, with higher downforce, it might be easier at Istanbul Park than last year?
RK: Yes, for sure. For example Turn Eight is nearly flat out, so we stress the front right tyre a lot, so there was always a lot of graining. So the increase in downforce will help ease this issue quite a bit. Also this year we have less tyre degradation in general. So all in all, with more downforce and better tyres we should have fewer problems here.
Q: Looking at the Monaco podium, there were three Renault-powered drivers on the podium. What do you think the R30 is missing compared to the RB6?
RK: The engine is only one of many components in the car. But obviously the power train is not the problem. What we need is more grip and more downforce, which our biggest deficit to the Red Bulls. Even though Monaco is not the best track to promote Red Bulls strengths, and this is the reason why I think we were only a couple of tenths of a second off Mark Webbers pace, whereas in Barcelona we were 1.5s off. But its clear that the Red Bull has the best aerodynamic package.
Q: What about next year? How valuable will you be on the driver market?
RK: I dont really know, and this topic does not really interest me. I hope that I will be in a good position in the overall drivers championship, which of course will help the team in the constructors championship as well. The only thing that I am interested in is working well to get the biggest benefit for the team and myself. Considering the 2011 season, for me it is far too early to talk about this. Of course there will be a time to think about whether I should stay or leave Renault. Many people thought it was wrong to come here in the first place, because of the troubles the team had and also their performance last year. I am very happy with the move that I made, and the performance that the team and I are delivering. Of course there have been a lot of changes since I joined, and it was not that easy to push them through, as is totally natural when you are used to one thing. It is hard to change to something else, but I think that we are going into the right direction, and the team is in very good spirits.