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Q & A with Robert Kubica

Renault recently announced that Robert Kubica was staying on board through to the end of the 2012 season, so the Pole's decision to commit his future to the resurgent team was naturally a hot topic when he met the media at Silverstone today

AUTOSPORT was there to hear his thoughts on Renault's future and the possibility of teaming up with Kimi Raikkonen.

Q. How straightforward was the decision to re-sign with Renault?

Robert Kubica: It wasn't really straightforward or not. It's quite a normal situation. I feel good with the team, we have been doing a pretty good job up to now, although the way to the top is still quite long, but only time will show us if we will be able to catch the top teams in the future. I hope I will continue working this way for the rest of our collaboration and we hope one day to be on the top.

Q. What did Renault have to do to convince you? What were the key factors for you?

RK: There was no real key factor. Like all drivers I'd like to have a winning car, and there is no guarantee to have a winning car. Nobody can give you a guarantee. But what all drivers I think are looking for is to one day drive a winning car and have a chance to win a world championship. There is no guarantee that I will get it, but we have to at least try, and I think the motivation and the spirit is right to keep working, keep pushing, keep trying to close the gap and maybe one day fight for the title.

Q. What's still missing that Renault has to sort before it can win the title?

RK: I think you could ask this question - 'what is missing?' - to all teams. The winner is just one. Every year it can change a lot. In Formula 1 things can change very quickly. Three years ago nobody was talking about Red Bull as a top team and now it is, I would say, the team to beat. And it could change very quickly for next year.

Formula 1 is a very complex sport. You need to have everything, and even if you have everything, there is no guarantee that you will win.

Q. You said you felt very at home at Renault, what makes it so comfortable for you?

RK: I think we've kept saying this all the time I've been here. I feel good, I like the atmosphere in the team, and that's it. It's very simple.

Q. Do you feel more at home at Renault than you were at BMW Sauber?

RK: It's five months people have been asking me the same question. The past is past, I'd like to concentrate on the present situation.

Q. How much of a factor was the possibility to also do some rallying with Renault?

RK: I never thought about this.

Q. But they let you go rallying, some teams might not...

RK: Not even one per cent of my decision was due to this. To be honest, I like rallying but if I'm allowed to do it, good. If I'm not allowed to do it, that's life. This is my passion, this is my hobby, but that's it.

Q. If things change so quickly in Formula 1, how do you make a team choice?

RK: There is no guarantee of performance, so when I was signing for Renault last year a lot of people were thinking I was making the wrong move. I was looking for a good atmosphere, a good spirit in the team. I was, I think, right - because I got what I was expecting and for me it is normal to continue.

There is no signal that we will not be competitive in the future. Of course it might happen, in the past we have seen teams being very competitive one year and not competitive the year after. But I cannot know this. I cannot know what will happen with our car in the next two or three races, I cannot know about next year. There's quite a big regulation change. It's a feeling rather than some guarantees or some numbers.

Q. How would you feel about having Kimi Raikkonen as a team-mate?

RK: As I always say, I have no problems with my team-mates. If Kimi will join us it will be very good. I think he is a great and talented driver. It might be very, very good driver line-up with him, but I don't know what the future will bring us and who will be my team-mate next year. I think it's too early to say.

Q. Would you prefer to be with another top driver or a clear number two?

RK: It's much better, especially in the current days, to have two good drivers in the team - both drivers can help the team and help each other. Without testing there is very limited time running. If you have someone you can rely on for information, data and feedback it is much easier for myself. Of course I think there is no downside to having two strong drivers in the team.

Q. When was the last time you spoke to Kimi?

RK: His last race last year, Abu Dhabi.

Q. When did you make the decision to stay with Renault?

RK: Four or five days ago. It was not a deadline, just that I made up my mind. I think it was a good sign for all the people to have a bit of stability - the guys who are working in the factory and at the racetrack, and also the fans. There was no need to keep people under question marks. So we decided to sign and to communicate it.

Q. Were you disappointed when Felipe Massa signed for Ferrari?

RK: Not really disappointing because in the end there were no talks. We were never even sitting around a table, so there was no disappointment.

Q. But are you ambitious to move on, many drivers look for McLaren or Ferrari drives eventually...

RK: I'm looking forward to having a winning car. I don't care where it will be, and I hope it will be next year in Renault. But this is my hope, you can hope but you have to keep realistic. For now it is still a very long way until next year so we have to make sure we are doing a good job this year and of course we will try to build as good a car as we can for next season.

Q. Was there much discussion over how many years to re-sign for?

RK: No, there was no discussion.

Q. It was always going to be two?

RK: It was pretty simple, I think for the team and the driver you are looking for stability.

Q. What about when other teams have seats available?

RK: It's quite simple that if I decide to stay at Renault it's because I believe in what I see and what my feelings are. I'm not deciding to stay in Renault for two years because then in three years' time someone will leave another team. I'm not thinking about it. I've decided to stay here and I believe we can be competitive in the future, and I'm looking forward to continuing working with Renault.

Q. There were rumours recently of an approach from Mercedes, was there anything in that?

RK: I don't know.

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