Robert Kubica has made a significant jump up in the points standings compared to 2009 as he currently stands tied in sixth place with Lewis Hamilton at 59 points. But the Pole doesn't expect to repeat his excellent Monaco pace although he is expecting to still be quite competitive as his R30 will feature more upgrades for this weekend, while improving qualifying will as always be a priority.
After your podium in Monaco, we head to Istanbul Park in Turkey – a completely different sort of track. What are your expectations ahead of the weekend? "The race in Monaco was our strongest performance so far this season, but it’s important that this result doesn’t make us overoptimistic because I think it will be difficult to repeat that pace this weekend. However, I still think we can be competitive in Turkey because the circuit characteristics are similar to Barcelona where we had good performance from the car. I’m also hoping that the new updates we have for this race will help us close the gap and qualify a little bit higher up than we did in Barcelona."
After six races you’re less than a race win away from the championship lead. Did you ever imagine that was achievable at the start of the year? "We had some idea during winter testing of what the car was capable of, we understood its strengths and we worked on maximising them. But I’m still a bit surprised to have scored so many points, which shows what a good job we are doing as a team. We have taken the opportunities that have come our way, especially in unusual races like Australia or the wet qualifying session in Malaysia. We’ve also taken our opportunities when the car has been strong, as we did in Monaco. So I think we can be very pleased with what we have achieved and proud of all the hard work at the factory to bring new parts for the car every weekend. But we know there is still a long way to go this season and we need to continue pushing hard and improving the car."
What do you think of the Istanbul Park circuit? "It’s certainly one of the best modern circuits with some nice corners, especially in the first sector of the lap. The final sector is a bit ‘mickey-mouse’ with some slow corners and is the complete opposite to the first sector, which means you have to make a compromise with the set-up. There’s also turn eight, which is quite a challenging corner and will be very interesting at the start of the race with a full tank of fuel."Interview courtesy of the Renault F1 team.