Q & A with Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica gave BMW something to smile about in Turkey on Friday when he went third fastest overall in the second free practice session while using a new diffuser on the F1.09

Q & A with Robert Kubica

But the Pole explained in a press briefing afterwards that while he was encouraged by his car's performance, he felt it was too early to say whether the team has turned a corner with its upgrade package. AUTOSPORT was there to hear what he had to say.

Q. How much of an improvement is the new package and diffuser in Turkey?

Robert Kubica: It's difficult to judge, because it looks a bit better, but if you look the pack is very tight, so a few tenths and we are back where we were. It's extremely important to extract the maximum from the car. It's very difficult also to judge how big an improvement we've got, because here at Istanbul the track is completely different to, for example, the last race in Monaco. So it is very difficult to judge. But the situation looks a bit better than normally.

Q. Do you feel any pressure because you haven't scored points this season?

RK: There is not really pressure. I think overall the start of the season was a bit unlucky and not as we were expecting, for different reasons. First of all in the first race where I could have scored many points I had an accident with [Sebastian] Vettel. Then in Malaysia where the car still was performing reasonably - I think top six - we had an engine failure before the start of the race. So when the car was good I had problems.

Also in Barcelona, the car was performing well but we had two problems in the two most important moments of the weekend. So overall it's difficult because of the performance of the car and additionally because of the problems that we had. Let's hope that we will fix them and become better.

Q. What can you achieve in Turkey?

RK: One thing that is sure is that I am trying to extract the maximum from the car and trying my best. But it's difficult to judge; I think it will still be difficult to get into Q3. Today looks very good, I would say, but the pack is so close together that every hundredth, every tenth, can make a big difference. So we have to make sure that we extract the maximum out of our car tomorrow and then we will see.

Q. This time last year you were fighting for the championship, and now things have changed a lot. Do you think that anyone can beat Button and Brawn?

RK: I think it is difficult to make predictions but of course Button is the favourite. He has the most points and it looks like they are able to keep up with development. McLaren and Ferrari look like they are catching up quite strongly, but Button has quite a big advantage,

Q. You were the only one faster on the soft tyres - how big a surprise is that?

RK: No surprise. Why should it be a surprise? I mean, normally we are quicker with soft tyres. Even we are surprised that the difference is so small, but looking at the other cars they are struggling with soft tyres or performing better with hard tyres, whereas our situation is a bit different for different reasons. So no, not really a big surprise.

Q. How hard is it to tell how big a difference the diffuser makes?

RK: I think it is impossible to say because of the different factors - different track, different tyres, different weather conditions, different characteristics of the corners here in Istanbul compared to Monaco. So it's very difficult to judge. I think we are a bit better than we were lately, but of course it is very difficult to say. And additionally the whole pack is very close together, so every hundredth, every tenth can make a big difference.

Q. Talk us through sessions today

RK: It was a normal Friday, with a bit of tyre evaluation and set-up work, and additionally a new diffuser which we are having for the first time here in Turkey. So we are concentrating on getting mostly information about the diffuser, about car balance and set-up requirements which we have to follow in order to make the new diffuser work 100 per cent. It was OK.

Q. Are you more happy with new diffuser?

RK: So far I am more happy with the overall car. I cannot say I am just happy about the diffuser; the diffuser doesn't make it go fast or slow. I think it is all the package. I think the afternoon looks better, much better than in the morning - in the morning we were struggling. But the afternoon looks better, I think better than expected. Tomorrow I hope we can fight for Q3, but still it will be very difficult.

shares
comments
Kubica encouraged by Friday form
Previous article

Kubica encouraged by Friday form

Next article

Bourdais left hoping for more speed

Bourdais left hoping for more speed
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Plus

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Plus

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. OLEG KARPOV asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021