Kubica: Team deserves 'special' podium

Robert Kubica described his second place in the Australian Grand Prix as a 'special' result for the improving Renault team, but warned that it was not the kind of finish the squad could expect in a straightforward race at the moment

Kubica: Team deserves 'special' podium

The Pole made good early progress from ninth on the grid, and then emerged in third when the stops for slick tyres were complete. He gained a position through Sebastian Vettel's retirement from the lead, and then fended off a string of rivals to hold second to the flag.

"Unfortunately Australia has not always been lucky for me, in the last two years I could have finished on the podium easily," said Kubica, who had a late tangle with Vettel a year ago while fighting for second in Melbourne.

"To be honest we were not expecting to finish on the podium, for Renault and myself it is a special result. We were pushing hard during the winter and this was the best result we could get for the beginning of the season. This is big thanks to all the guys.

"We have to stay realistic, we are not up to pace to finish on the podium normally. We need to keep pushing and I am sure we will manage sooner or later to be on the pace."

Kubica had briefly been ahead of eventual winner Jenson Button during the flurry of tyre changes as the track dried, but could not fend off the McLaren as its slicks were already warmed up.

"It was difficult because we struggled with the warm-up so when we saw Button was quick on slicks we pitted on the same lap as Felipe [Massa]," Kubica explained.

"My guys did a fantastic job, we overtook Felipe in the pitstop but Button was much quicker with one or two laps on his tyres - he built temperature up, and they are very quick on straightline speed. I was not confident with the conditions as it was my first lap on slicks so it was hard to fight with Button."

The subsequent decision not to make a second tyre stop later in the race then proved key to Kubica's result, as the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber lost ground when they came in for fresh rubber.

Kubica said he had initially expected to pit until the team realised that nursing the tyres to the finish could pay dividends.

"I thought we would pit again but when we had big degradation I asked if we should pit, they said if we could manage not to do it," Kubica explained.

"I had Lewis attacking me, he came very quickly, then he decided to pit, then Felipe came. I was hoping with good speed to keep second until the end."

shares
comments
Vettel says failure robbed him of win
Previous article

Vettel says failure robbed him of win

Next article

Delighted Button says tyre call was his

Delighted Button says tyre call was his
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022