Q & A with Robert Kubica
|By Simon Strang||Friday, June 19th 2009, 10:50 GMT|
As Formula 1 faces a grand prix weekend full of controversy, drivers like Robert Kubica are trying to focus on their on-track job.
AUTOSPORT heard from Kubica on Thursday at Silverstone about his thoughts on the British Grand Prix and the current state of F1.
Q. What do you think of the FOTA/FIA situation?
Robert Kubica: I think it will need too much time, in the end there is nothing much I can do about it, or to help it. I hear a bit of news, but all in all not many people know exactly what is going on so I was not really especially dedicating time to follow it.
Q. Are you worried about your own future and where you might be racing in 2010?
RK: As I said there is nothing for to do against or to help it and for now it is just too early and there are too many questions, so the time will show what will happen.
Q. Taking it further if BMW raced in a separate series next year, would you stay with BMW or Formula 1?
RK: As I said there are too many question marks, so I have no opinion for this now.
Q. But with all this uncertainty, has the driver market stalled?
RK: I don't know you have to ask the teams. I think nobody really knows how the whole situation might go and what's going on. Maybe only a few people know exactly what is going on and there are too many question marks. Everybody, the teams, the FIA, is trying to come to a common compromise, to have it sorted out as soon as possible. I hope everything will be sorted out. If it will be sorted out I don't know.
Q. Will you be using KERS this weekend?
Q. What are you hoping to achieve from this weekend?
RK: Realistically, it is difficult to predict. We saw overall better performance in Istanbul than Monaco. Istanbul performance was very similar to the Barcelona one so a lot will depend on how the car suits this track, from weather conditions, from the tyres. There are many factors that might have a big influence on our performance but I hope that overall to realistically fight for Q3. It will be not easy but maybe possible.
Q. Will you miss Silverstone?
RK: To be honest I think yes, because in the end it is one of the best tracks to race or to drive. A lot of challenging corners, special atmosphere, and a really nice place to come here and drive.
Q. Do you see a window of performance that suits your car?
RK: There is no clear indication. We have seen not only in our case but also with Toyota at Monaco where both teams struggled a lot. We struggled also in Bahrain but there Toyota was very quick so to be honest it's a very narrow window when the tyres are working and not working, and it is much more sensitive this year than last year. Also once you start struggling with overall grip from the car then the tyres are struggling more. They might be overheating problem, or too much wear or even a warm-up problem. Everything is going together and you have to make sure you try to make it work as much as you can.
Q. Are you disappointed that the slicks are offering such a small window?
RK: I think in our case it is very difficult to compare, in our case a lot is related to the car. I think if you went to ask Rubens or Jenson they will tell you that the tyres are much easier to handle. If you ask us or McLaren they will say that the tyres are much more sensitive. In the end once the car is lacking grip or is struggling then it has a bigger influence on the tyres behaviour.
Q. Do you think you will run KERS again this year?
RK: I don't know to be honest. I didn't ask this question because from my position is was very difficult to run it from the beginning of the year. To be honest I think we have bigger problems than this one for now, KERS if is run properly and the system is working well and there are not a lot of downsides on your car then it is an advantage. But overall my situation is a bit different to Nick's one, so I haven't put this question in my mind.
Q. How much of advantage is it over the weekend not to have to focus on this?
RK: It's very difficult to compare. In an F1 team you have enough engineers to handle all situations but once again you have a car which is very difficult to drive, which you are struggling with things that have a much bigger effect on laptime than KERS. And there are many things which put you in a difficult situation it is better to go safer, because you might lose more lap time than KERS will give you an advantage. So you make significant aerodynamic compromise with the KERS I would say, so in this area the car is very dedicated, so I think it is crucial we try to understand it and trying to extract what we can from our aerodynamical side.
Q. How do you expect BMW to continue developing this car before they decide to concentrate on next year?
RK: I don't know. I have no clue. I don't know if this will happen or not happen. We are working and trying to get better and better and everyone in the workshop is working. Anyway I think we come back to the same situation, theoretically we don't which series we will be racing in, so how can we try to develop next year's car?