Q&A with Renaults Robert Kubica 09 Sep 2010
After some difficult races mid-season, Renaults Robert Kubica was finally back on the podium at Spa. And those who do well at Spa traditionally do well at Monza too, so the Pole is looking forward to another positive weekend at the Italian Grand Prix
Q: What are your expectations for this race weekend?
Robert Kubica: Of course coming to Monza from Spa, where the whole weekend was very good for us, we find a completely different track here. We will have to adapt our car to the different characteristics of the track here. In my view Monza is one of the most difficult tracks to predict whether your car will be competitive or not, and who will be competitive, and we will have to wait until Friday practice and then we will see. Monza is a high-speed track, so your car has to be very efficient, with a good top speed, but also very good traction out of the low-speed corners, and very stable going over the kerbs. I think there is no other track with so many high-speed phases and hard braking points. Looking at the engine, we always use Red Bull Racing as the benchmark, so generally I would say that our engine is good, even though its not the strongest. It has been very reliable up until now, and also has good drivability. From a drivers perspective it is quite different here, as the car has a lot less downforce than at all the other tracks and it is quite tricky to figure out how the car should behave and respectively how to set this up. Since I had my first ever podium in F1 here at Monza I hope that this luck will continue and that I will be able to be competitive here again. Also I grew up here in Italy as a racing driver.
Q: Now that we are at the last European race, could you sum up the season so far?
RK: So far I think we are doing a quite good job and we are able to race for podiums. And now that we are not doing so badly we would like to be even more competitive, and this is what we are trying to do. We are working harder and harder, keeping in mind where we have been before the start of the season, so we can be quite happy for now.
Q: Looking back on Spa, did you feel that without the slow pit stop you could have been one spot higher on the podium?
RK: To be honest I did not look at the race again. For me after the race, the race is finished. We did have a good weekend, and we clearly moved forward because of the F-duct, so we somehow used our chances, as I was able to do a very good qualifying too. The race itself was very difficult, and I managed to bring the car home on the podium.
Q: The FIAs World Motor Sport Council has said it will look again at the regulations relating to team orders. What do you think would be the right thing?
RK: I think they should change the regulation, even though under the baseline it will not change anything. At least then teams would not need to make strange comments on the radio to make everyone understand what should be done.
Q: Looking ahead on the calendar, we will be racing at Suzuka in Japan again this year. What are your impressions of that track?
RK: The Suzuka track is definitely one of the best tracks, and most of the drivers are looking forward to racing there. Of course it is quite a trip to get there from Europe, but for sure its worth going to enjoy the amazing corners and layout of the circuit, not forgetting the atmosphere in Japan, as the fans there are very special. Taking the first sections, between corners one and six is very challenging. What is so important there is not to make any mistakes in this section, as if you miss the line in turn two you will take a different line into turns three and four and it will be very difficult to recover from this again. There is basically only the chicane for overtaking, even though this year it might be different at the beginning of the race with all cars being quite heavy.
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