Q & A with Robert Kubica
|By Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, October 1st 2009, 05:52 GMT
Q. How was the upgrade package for Singapore?
Robert Kubica: I think Singapore was not the ideal track to see completely the full potential of it, but we have seen some improvement, a bit less than expected but this is kind of normal especially on the track where there is not a lot of aero downforce corners, so I hope we can benefit more here in Suzuka out of it than Singapore.
Q. Expect push up field?
RK: To be honest it is difficult to expect anything because we have seen last races many teams going up and down depending on the track conditions, depending on the car characteristics, the track characteristics, the tyres, so a lot of factors which have big influence and especially this year where the grid is very tight and very close together so it is difficult to expect where you end up, but we hope to be more competitive to be more in front, but as I said the gaps are so small that everything is so crucial so we try to extract the maximum out of everything.
Q. McLaren could be back here a bit and Brawn struggle with temps. Could be a good opportunity?
RK: Yeah but we also have our problems where it is not that we don't have problems, I think as I said the quickest cars and quickest package will be the one who extracts the maximum in this special conditions on this special track. But our potential is less than the other teams who have won races this year.
Q. It is unique here with ups and downs, how do you explain that?
RK: As I said, the grid is so tight that in the past a two or three tenths gap, maybe you are in the same position or lose one position, now two or three tenths is big. I think in Singapore fourth and 11th was around 0.25, which makes a huge difference in Q2 if I am not wrong, so this year is extremely competitive, everybody is close together and that is why you have up and downs, in the past as I said, there were some teams fighting, then half a second gap to the others, then even if like in 2007 we were third quickest team half a second to top and half a second behind, so even if you were not extracting the maximum you were ending up fifth or sixth, so it was a completely different situation. Now, it is very important to extract maximum and to try to find the best way to go.
Q. How much more is the pressure on the drivers to get it right?
RK: Well, there is pressure like it was in the past. As a driver you always try to extract maximum from your car to prepare it as best as possible and to do as best lap as possible, but of course not always you manage to do it, like last year I did Australia a big mistake in qualifying on my fastest lap and I was still on the front row, and in Bahrain I did pole position, I did not perfect lap but it was enough to be first. There is never a perfect lap, the perfect lap does not exist, you can always find something somewhere to improve, even if you really when you are really close to the limit there is always something you can gain a bit. This you know afterwards. But in qualifying you have one chance and that is it.
Q. Looking ahead to next year, what do you make of the partnership of Fernando and Ferrari?
RK: Looking at the speculation, it has been for a very long time and I would say it is not a big surprise. Although it is a surprise because in the end, what I think everybody knew, was that Kimi had a valid contract so it is a quite a surprise of course, but I think it is normal, two-times world champion, one of the best drivers, if not the best driver our of the last six or seven seasons, is going to one of the best teams. I think it is normal.
Q. Will it make him favourite for next year's title?
RK: Well, if the Ferrari will get the quick car, then of course Fernando as Felipe will be one of the contenders. As we have seen this year, it might not be like this. Who will say that Force India will be quicker in the last three races than a Ferrari? Even five or six months ago you will not say this, and this is what happened. So I am not kind of guy who will say, I don't know what to expect from next year and I don't know who will be quick.
Q. Where Alonso move leave you? Does it make it easier for you?
RK: No. It doesn't have any influence.
Q. Have you made your choice before?
RK: No. But I haven't made my choice yet. From me, in my point of view, there is not 100 percent confirmation where I will be and we will have to wait. My options were not Ferrari so it did not depend from Fernando if he would go there or not, what I will do in the future.
Q. Could be possible you go to Ferrari if Felipe does not return?
RK: To Ferrari? That is the first time I have heard that.
Q. What are you waiting for before making your mind up?
RK: It takes a bit of time to fix everything, to make a deal, and that is it. I think now if the period where you will have to decide and in the end from the driver point of view and team point of view, it is better to have closed the deal and everything, so sooner or later we will know where we will be.
Q. Renault hoping to announce drivers next week. Does that fit in with your plan?
RK: Yes and not.
Q. Are you still in talks with this team?
Q. Sounds like Renault has decided though?
RK: Then they have decided, but as I said there is nothing 100 percent sure. Until I sign the contract it is difficult to say where I will be racing. Once I sign the contract we will see.
Q. Not worried Renault announce someone else?
RK: They can? But who says I will be racing there?
Q. Are you legally free to leave this team?
RK: I think so. As I said I am not talking about contracts and if I was not 100 percent free I would not speak to other teams. That is clear and that is it.
Q. Renault and this team are obvious options. How difficult is it for you to judge?
RK: I think there are some other options apart from these two. But, as you say, there is never 100 percent a guarantee of performance as I said before, who will be quick and who will not be quick, but it is a difficult period for all of F1, not only for this team but for all teams, most of the teams. There is always kind of uncertain points on the future, but I think this will not be the case of the team in which I will go.
Q. Are you clear in your own mind where you want to go?
Q. How confident are you that your preferred option is going to happen?
RK: 95 percent, 90 percent.
Q. You thought this team would take you to the top...
RK: I never thought that this team would bring me to the top, I thought everybody did try to do the best what they could and I think last year we had big chance which I think everybody knows my opinion about it and unfortunately this year the worst scenario happened, all in all I think we did miss the chance, both BMW Sauber and myself as a package. For sure, in the future there will be difficulty with the same package to try and win championship because BMW is pulling away, although Sauber will stay and I hope will stay. What will happen in the future is difficult to judge.
Q. Now about how you recover from setback…
RK: I think you have wrong idea of my faults. I never said that we would win championship and I never thought,. I know how hard it is and as I said when last year I was really pushing, trying to use it best as I could my chance because I said it might be the only chance in my life, and I hope I am wrong that I will have still some chances to fight for the championship in the future if not then that is life, it is kind of racing you cannot predict everything and I am never…I am more thinking day by day, grand prix by grand prix, than season by season or championship by championship.
Q. Not that calculating…
Q. Has last year taught you a lesson about insisting on team concentrating on that year?
RK: I think and I hope that the team that I will race for, I will not have to insist to fight for the championship. My future team will know what to do, and I hope that there will not be any need to try and convince them.