Renault newcomer Robert Kubica has said that he already feels "at home" with the Enstone, UK-based team after driving for BMW for the past four seasons.
The Pole, who claimed BMW Sauber's only Formula 1 win in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, has now spent four days testing with Renault. Kubica reckons that the time he has spent building a relationship with the team since joining Renault has helped them to hit the ground running in testing.
"I feel at home already now," said Kubica. "On the team side, we spent quite a long time talking and discussing and trying to get to know each other as best we can. By talking, you can gain a lot of time which you can then use to concentrate on work at the track."
Kubica compared the handling characteristics of the new Renault R30 favorably with those of the BMW Sauber F1.09 that he raced last year, describing it as offering a wider range of possibilities.
"Some setup changes are less sensitive than I was used to, which is better because it gives you a wider window of car balance," said Kubica. "It's not so sensitive, which is very positive. Last year it was no secret that we had a very sensitive car and it was very difficult to set up. The Renault is a lot easier on this side."
Despite being pleased with the car, Kubica stopped short of judging how competitive it will be, insisting that it will not be until the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14 that a clear picture will emerge.
"It's very difficult to judge performance," said Kubica. "We have to look for ourselves to make everything work as best we can. Then once we get to Bahrain we will see.
"Also, in the past, we have seen with the team I was racing with in the past that February doesn't mean anything. You can be king in February and slow in the second race. And it can be the opposite, like it happened in 2008 where we [BMW Sauber] were very slow at the beginning of testing and then started on the first row in the first two races."
Kubica is scheduled to return to the cockpit on Saturday, with GP2 graduate Vitaly Petrov testing tomorrow.