Robert Kubica says he is enjoying life far more battling for points-scoring positions with Renault, than he did when fighting it out for wins at BMW Sauber. The Pole has been one of the surprises of the season, with an aggressive development program from Renault having helped him deliver one podium finish and start putting pressure on the "big four" teams.
With the driver/team combination having hit it off so well, Kubica has said that the positive team spirit he has encountered at the team's Enstone, UK base is a contributing factor to the success of his season so far.
"It's no secret that at times in past years I didn't feel as looked after as I would have liked," Kubica told Gazzetta dello Sport, in a clear reference to the troubles he faced at BMW. "I think that [the] feeling around you, the faith of the people you work with, is important in any activity. Today I feel that the team has confidence in me, they accommodate me, and this allows me not to feel the fatigue of a workload that is even bigger than in previous seasons. I enjoy myself more, even though the car is not yet what we dream to have."
Kubica acknowledges that Renault has been lucky to deliver such good results so far this year because of trouble that rival outfits have faced – but he thinks clever driving has also played a part.
"This is a season where drivers are required to manage the race, not just push the way it was until the end of 2009, when races were practically three stints at qualifying pace," he said. "You only need to look at in-car footage to see how I've driven in these first races: I look dim. In my opinion, stopping twice isn't worth it, and you must accept the fact that a long stint on hard tires is absolutely necessary. I've had to adapt: Avoiding over-stressing the tires will be the key during the 2010 championship.
"Yes, we've had some luck both at Melbourne and at Sepang. The two starts were decisive, and we made up for the problem we still have with qualifying. But we can't always count on our rivals' problems. Race after race, I count on being able to slot in a position in qualifying that I can maintain during the race. But we know that, besides chasing the four top teams, we must beware of Force India, especially in qualifying."