Robert Kubica says he has every reason to feel upbeat about the potential of his new Renault, despite a day of mixed fortunes at Valencia on Wednesday.
Although Kubica ended the day fifth overall on the time sheets, he was left slightly frustrated with the handling of the car and a few niggling problems that prevented him getting more mileage. Despite those factors, Kubica said he was keeping a positive frame of mind about his first experience of the R31, as he prepared for a second day of running on Thursday.
"Today was quite a different day because of a few car issues that we had this morning, and the main difference was the tires," said the Pole. "So it is very difficult to get the right feeling.
"Feeling wise it is not as good as it was last year but I hope it will be the same feeling for everybody. So we will see."
Kubica believes that high tire degradation made it difficult to judge the ultimate performance of his car, although he could already get some good feedback about its KERS and movable rear wing.
"I think tires are degrading quite a lot here, which has a big influence on the lap times," he said. "But today was not really ideal for seeing the lap time and performance, but, of course, it is always nice to have a good feeling and a competitive car. But we did many laps and we did operate KERS from the beginning, which was working perfectly, and also the rear wing.
"So actually there were quite a few positive things where we did not have any issues, which is always good. We had a couple of issues with the car which we hope to solve, and actually we solved them and they could run pretty well."
Although rivals Red Bull Racing and Ferrari have been fastest so far in early testing with their new cars, Kubica says past experience with BMW Sauber in 2008 has shown him not to read anything into the first few days of running.
"I will repeat again the same story – I still have 2008 in my mind. We had the Valencia test with some faces [at the team] like we know we will stop racing the day after, because we were really slow. And then one-and-a-half months later we were on the front row in Australia! So things can change very quickly, especially in Valencia.
"The track characteristic can be quite strange here, so that is why I am not really looking for the feeling, as it is really a special track. The many problems you get here you will never get them on 80 percent of other tracks during the grands prix."