Kubica downplays Singapore chances

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Robert Kubica says he’s looking forward to racing on Singapore’s streets this weekend:

There are lots of bumps, kerbs, and bits of track where you have to keep some margin for mistakes because the walls are very close – especially in the last sector. I always enjoy driving there and, although the race is very long and demanding, it’s a good track for racing.

Singapore is one of the hardest races of the entire season. The circuit layout is very bumpy and you’re fighting the car all the time. You’re continually in the corners and the only place where you get a breather for a couple of seconds is on the start-finish straight.

After this, you also have the strange timetable that means we work late, go to bed late and wake up in the afternoon. You don’t feel any difference during the race weekend itself, but each year it has felt a bit strange to come back to a normal schedule afterwards.
Robert Kubica

However he’s not sure he will be able to repeat the team’s Monaco performance, where he qualified on the front row of the grid and finished third:

I think we must be careful not to take anything for granted. It’s true that Singapore is the closest circuit to Monaco in the calendar, but Monaco was over four months ago.

I’d like the car to be as competitive and easy to drive as it was back then, because it makes it easy for me to push straight away and easier for the engineers to work on extracting the final bit of performance. But things change quickly in Formula 1 and it may not be the case.

My approach will be as usual: I will keep in mind that we are fighting in a very strong pack of cars, and lately teams like Williams have come very strong, so we need to wait and see. But I’m definitely looking forward to a good performance.
Robert Kubica

Kubica also explained the unusual steps the drivers have to take to cope with the race running at night:

The approach I took last year to the unusual schedule meant that I was going to bed very late – about four in the morning. After I went to sleep, I would wake up about three or four in the afternoon.

But what is strange is that you don’t really feel the effects of this unusual routine – probably because the adrenaline and concentration is so high when you are at the track. It’s only after the weekend you feel a bit strange.
Robert Kubica

Team mate Vitaly Petrov has raced at night before at Qatar in GP2.

But Singapore is the first of five races at tracks he has no prior experience of. He said:

It will be a new challenge for me. I don’t know these circuits at all so I will do the maximum to prepare for them. I have been watching videos of previous races and reading data.

We also hope that our car will be much more competitive in Singapore and for the last few races. I look forward to racing there and to the challenge that lies ahead. There are a lot of difficult corners in Singapore and, from what I saw in the videos, the track is bumpy, the car is jumping a lot and it looks easy to lock the wheels.
Vitaly Petrov

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    Keith Collantine
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    27 comments on “Kubica downplays Singapore chances”

    1. Repeat the teams Monaco performance.

      1. That’s the obvious objective.

        1. I was correcting a typo

      2. “to repeat the team’s Monaco performance”

    2. Anybody else notice how Kubica downplays his chances and then does really well?

      1. He’s been PR-trained well. Under-promise, over-delver.

        1. Ooh, my comments are going back up straight away. I had to uninstall and then re-install Firefox the other day and it wiped my cookies.

          1. But it seems everything is working now, doesn’t it?

            I think Renault are really doing a lot of the creating low expectations and “suprise” come race weekend.c

            1. What sort of suprise can we look forward to? Like a Brazilian in the wall down at turn seventeen? That kind of surprise?

            2. As a car manufacturer, Renault have to make sure they don’t do a BMW. Make public claims as to their yearly expectations, points, podiums, win, then take the title. This year by year target setting saw BMW end up with egg on their face when the 2009 car ended up being a dud, and indeed the team left the sport with it’s tail between it’s legs. Renault probavly have a target they expect in the team’s offices, but they (shouldn’t and) won’t come out and say ” We will win Singapore” since it would look silly if they didn’t. A PR disaster would hit Renault hard.

      2. He’s always very understated. Rosberg on the other hand just said on Twitter that he has a good shot at some podiums in the remaining races. I think Kubica’s more likely to be on the podium at any remaining races than Rosberg.

        1. Actually, all Rosberg said was that Singapore would be his best chance at a podium for the remaining races, which is true enough.

    3. The Renaults (or at least the No.1 Renault driver) have always been competitive on this circuit – so I wont be surprise if they score some solid points this weekend

      1. what is worrying is that the Renault number 2 is also prone to crashing, all eyes on Petrov this weekend for all the wrong reasons.

        1. Um, when, since Spa has he crashed?

          I’ll tell you: Monaco.

          1. Didn’t Petrov crash in Canada on the first lap? I can’t recall exactly

            1. It wasn’t a crash. He spun.

          2. Spa qualifying too, right, “checking if the kerbs were wet”.

            1. Yes, I said Spa. And he wasn’t checking to see if the kerbs were wet, he said he was checking to see how wet they were. The R30 rides the kerbs quite well, which would be an advantage in wet conditions.

      2. But was that the car or just team strategy :-( and their star driver doing well here?

    4. Petrov ‘d better go round Piquet Corner reeeaaaally slow and carefully: remember Grosjean last year…

      1. HAHA, I’d forgotten that Grossjean had an excursion at that spot to last year.

        Maybe Renault needs to remove those magnets from the car.

      2. The curse of the #2 Renault driver.

    5. If it rains, expect a few drivers to be feeling ‘a bit strange’ slightly earlier in the weekend perhaps.

      I really hope it rains this year – would be very interesting to see.

    6. Kubika should not worry..the Singapore authorities have taken steps and repaired the bumpy sections..and also tweaked some sections to improve safety.


    7. ” But Singapore is the first of five races at tracks he has no prior experience of.” said Petrov,

      This 5 races will decide his fate for the 2011 Renault seat.

    8. 12 hours sleep?? Lazy bugger, hasn’t he got some work to do?

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