Q & A with Robert Kubica
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Thursday, August 27th 2009, 13:28 GMT|
Q. The car looked better in Valencia.
Robert Kubica: Yeah, I think we had a few factors that were playing positively for us in Valencia, like small updates on the car and also track characteristics. Also the temperatures. We have to see here how the car will perform. Of course it would be very good to at least repeat the performance from Valencia here at Spa, but it might be a completely different story so I really don't know what to expect.
Q. Was it important to get a point because of what happened during the summer, with BMW pulling out?
RK: It's always positive to have good races, especially after such a difficult season. But I think these days a point is like a podium last year so I think we did a good race. Unfortunately qualifying maybe a few more points, two, maybe three, because the race pace was quite good. But in qualifying we didn't manage to do a proper lap.
Q. The cars will be running with medium downforce for the first time here, do you think that will be beneficial for some teams while bad for others?
RK: I don't think so. It's more about the track characteristics. We've seen for example Red Bull, who are very fast in high-speed corners and less strong in slow-speed corners. In Valencia it looks like they were struggling more, so I'm expecting them to be back to Silverstone pace.
I don't know about the other teams, but for us it's not a big difference. We just have small modifications to the front and rear wings. It's not like in the past when you were running a completely different aero package, because this year the downforce level is much lower so the step to reduce it is much smaller than in the past.
Q. Any developments in your personal situation?
RK: No. I would say nothing.
Q. When do you think you will be able to make an announcement?
RK: First of all we will have to make a deal with someone and once the situation is clear we will announce it. But right now it's just too early and also there is no final decision from my side so there is nothing to be announced.
Q. Do you want to stay with a manufacturer team or are you more open than that?
RK: I think my decision will not depend on whether it is a manufacturer or not. It's not as important as other points. It's difficult to know now what will happen in the next five months or the next year.
Q. Is the length of the deal important for you as well?
RK: I think for sure if I'm feeling well with the team I'm looking for a longer term collaboration, because I think with a stable group you can achieve a lot. I think this is very important.
Q. How difficult is it to judge the situation now?
RK: It's difficult to know because there are not that many seats open. There are clearly drivers under contract, but rumours are saying a lot of things. If we look at the official statements, there are not many seats open. But everything can happen. We have seen many times in F1 that contracts are unpredictable. It's too early for me to say anything. We just need more time. Once I have made a decision, we will announce it.
Q. Do you care who your team-mate is?
RK: Not really. It will not influence my decision. I'd prefer an experienced driver than a rookie but I have no problems. I believe rookie drivers, if they are good, can make a good job. We have seen with Lewis and even Grosjean.
Q. Does it seem like everybody is waiting for that big first move to make decisions?
RK: To be honest I'm not waiting for any moment. My decision is not dependant of where somebody else will be.
Q. Has this experience made you think 'I don't want to do that again', like getting an email or a phone call saying 'This is coming to an end'?
RK: Yeah, of course. There is nothing worse to wake up one day and have a decision that your team will retire. This is very difficult to predict. There was no information suggesting BMW might retire. There was nothing with Honda, and we lost two big manufacturers from Formula 1 in 10 months or less.
This is very difficult to know, who will stay or who will go, because one day someone can wake up and say 'Okay, I close Formula 1'. For sure this is not good for me, or the guys in the team. But there are different reasons behind this. And I understand that the bigger the manufacturer is, the bigger the decisions.
Q. Like Vettel, you've lost a few engines already this year. Has that influenced the way you face practice sessions?
RK: It's not the most comfortable situation, which I've been having for a long time. Unfortunately this is our situation and somehow you have to make a compromise. There is no secret that a fresh engine is better and there is less risk than with one with 1000 kilometers or even more. We use the engine for a longer time, so instead of doing three Fridays or maybe four we extend the mileage.
Also for the races, instead of doing two races you have to do three races. Once you are in the third race the risk of failure is much bigger and also the power loss is bigger. So it's not ideal. For me in the end it's not such a big drama because I'm not fighting for the title but for Sebastian is not the ideal situation.