The Renault Formula One Team looks ahead to the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Robert Kubica sums up winter testing and reveals his hopes for the year ahead.
After four weeks of testing, do you feel ready to go racing? "I feel as ready as I can be considering that winter testing has been so limited. I’ve spent a lot of time with the team and we already have a strong working relationship, which means we can make the most of the time at the track. There has been a lot for me to learn and there are still questions to answer, but we got some good information from the tests and I tried to extract the maximum from every lap."
How do you think the R30 compares with the competition? "It’s difficult to judge performance, but we’re heading in the right direction. We also haven’t run with all our new updates yet and there is another aero upgrade for Bahrain, which we hope will match the wind tunnel predictions and improve performance. Overall, it seems that all the top teams are quite close, but some have definitely hidden their full potential during testing and will also have more updates for Bahrain. So far, I think Ferrari and Mercedes look very strong."
What aims do you have in mind for the year ahead? "It will be a long season and our goal must be to develop faster than our competitors. There was a big gap to make up at the end of 2009 so we will have to take two steps forward if we want to catch the top teams. Performance is what we need – it’s always the best medicine."
Bahrain has a new layout this year. Do you think it will encourage more overtaking? "I don’t think the layout will make overtaking easier. The biggest overtaking opportunities are still there in the old part of the track and the new part is quite twisty with a lot of corners, but no heavy braking zones. So the overtaking will happen in the usual places – into turns one and four."
Set-up wise what’s the secret to a good lap? "Bahrain is a circuit that requires good braking stability and traction. There are no real high-speed corners so the set-up work focuses more on the mechanical side."Source Renault