Site logo

Q&A with Robert Kubica

NEWS STORY
13/03/2009

Thursday marked BMW's final day of testing for the 2009 season. After taking the F1.09 for its maiden outing at Valencia on 20th January, Robert Kubica tested the car in Bahrain, Jerez and Barcelona.

Those who know the Pole would never expect him to be entirely satisfied with every aspect of the preparations for the forthcoming season, after all, why only be good when you can be better? However, in addition to his strict fitness regime and F1 preparation work he has also used the winter to launch a new venture... Robert Kubica Kart.

Robert, how has testing gone with the F1.09?
Robert Kubica: "Winter testing is always important. This year it is even more important because of the drastic changes in the regulations. It is hard to say if the direction is right because every team starts with a completely new package from zero. So there is a lot to do in testing. For example, on the last day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona I covered more than twice the distance of a Grand Prix. That is pretty demanding on the car and on the driver. Neither the BMW Sauber F1.09 nor my body had a problem with that. That shows my fitness training during the winter was as perfect as the work on the reliability of the car. In addition to the race simulation, we evaluated a lot of different solutions for the mechanical set-up and the aero configuration of the car. We were able to make up some of the time we lost the week before in Jerez due to the unfortunate weather. So overall it was a very productive test."

Will you miss having opportunities to test during the season?
RK: "This is something I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I'm pleased that there will be a bit less travelling and I'll maybe have more time for myself. Having said that, over previous seasons testing has played a very important role in pushing forward the development of the car and setting it up for the next races. I can't be sure yet whether we will be able to be as effective during the testing permitted on Fridays of each race weekend."

How do you see the various technical modifications for 2009?
RK: "All in all, the F1.09 is totally different to drive compared with our 2008 car. The reduced aerodynamics make the cars have less downforce. This will be counteracted partly by the slick tyres, which build up much more grip - particularly at the front axle - than the grooved tyres we've been using in the past few seasons. This imbalance between the front and rear axle means the cars oversteer more. Personally, I think this is quite fun, although I would prefer to have greater aerodynamic downforce.

I've got used to the larger front wing now. The tricky thing about it is that you can't see its outer edges from the cockpit because they are hidden by the front wheels. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the first corner at the Australian Grand Prix. I can imagine that we will see a lot more damaged front wings than in the past when things get tight.

Regarding KERS, I have mixed feelings. As I am a tall and relatively heavy person I have disadvantages regarding the weight and consequently the weight distribution of the car. But on the other hand KERS could be a big advantage because of the boost."

Will the new variables make the car more complicated to use for the driver?
RK: "Not really. Using KERS and the adjustable front wing is not particularly difficult. Once you've worked out where to use KERS to optimum effect at each track and in which places you adjust the front wing, it happens pretty much automatically."

Do you think it will be easier to overtake this season?
RK: "KERS definitely helps on a straight when you want to overtake somebody who doesn't have the system. I think the picture will not change dramatically. But I really hope there will be more opportunities to overtake, because fans and drivers miss overtaking in Formula One."

Will the teams be more closely matched?
RK: "It's difficult to say. There was very little between the top teams in testing. Whether that will also be the case in qualifying will doubtless depend very much on how well the teams are able to prepare for each race track - and that's become harder with the restrictions on testing. When it comes to the races, a major factor will be how effectively the car and driver work with the tyres. There is some uncertainty here as well; the new tyres mean we can only use data from the past to a limited degree."

What is your aim for the 2009 season?
RK: "To get 100 percent out of myself and the F1.09 in every race. Only then we can have the chance to beat the other top teams and still be battling for the title in the final race of the season."

How do you think the BMW Sauber F1 Team is shaping up compared to its rivals?
RK: "As always testing can only give you ideas on where you are. And it can also mislead you. Our goal is to be best prepared for Australia. And I think we are on a good path. But we have to wait until Melbourne to really see where we are. The Qualifying will give all the teams a first impression about the balance of power."

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2020. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms