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Q & A with Robert Kubica

By Renault F1
June 24 2010

Robert Kubica: “I’m somebody who likes extra competition in what I do.”

Looking to Valencia, do you find the circuit a rewarding one to race on?
I know a lot of other drivers don’t think the same way, but I enjoy driving there. It’s quite an interesting circuit because it’s half-street circuit, half-modern circuit. The characteristics are quite similar to Canada, because most of the corners are slow speed, so you concentrate on braking stability and good traction – which should suit our car because we are strong in these areas. We run a higher level of downforce than in Canada, but you still need good aerodynamic efficiency because the speeds are high at four points of the lap.

It was expected that the R30 would perform well in Canada, but you suffered from a lack of grip all weekend. Will that be a problem in Valencia?
The main difference will be with the asphalt: in Montreal, the track surface was new and very slippery, whereas I think the grip levels will be better in Valencia – but that will be the same for everybody. It’s still a street circuit, so grip levels will be low on Friday morning, but they should improve quickly throughout the weekend, especially because we will have more categories racing and putting rubber down than we did in Canada.

What is the most challenging part of the circuit in Valencia?
I enjoy the first sector, because it has two chicanes where you have to jump over the kerbs, and the walls are very close. The other fun section for the drivers is the final part of the lap: they are taken flat out, or with one small lift, but you really get into the flow from one corner to another and then, for the last corner, you have to brake while there is still a lot of lateral load on the car. It’s very tricky to find your braking point for that corner, which makes it even more challenging.

Most people spend their weekends off at home, but you were in action again last weekend, rallying in southern Italy. Tell us more about this hobby…
I’m somebody who likes extra competition in what I do. It wasn’t actually my plan to go rallying during the season, but I had some problems when I competed last winter, so I had to do it more and it’s been going really well. What I love about is that you always have a question mark in your mind: when you approach each corner, you never know what’s going to happen. In Formula 1, I can predict 80 or 90% of what will happen on each lap but in rallying you can predict nothing. You go into the corner thinking “what the hell will happen now?” That’s what I enjoy most.

The team is targeting Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. Do you think you can take the fight to them this weekend?
It would be good to beat everybody, not just Mercedes! The gap to the front of the field is not so big, but we still have to gain a lot of ground, and we can only do that if we keep pushing and keep working. We will have a new package on the car this weekend, and we hope that will bring us another step forward. But every team will be bringing updates, so it will depend how much they bring and how much they improve. In Valencia, anything could happen, and we need to wait and see if the order is shuffled and how we will perform compared to Mercedes.

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Q & A with Robert Kubica
Discussion started by Renault Rockets (IP Logged), 24/06/2010 10:45
Renault Rockets
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24/06/2010 10:45
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