Driveshaft failure ends Kubica’s British Grand Prix

Robert Kubica was left bitterly disappointed after failing to finish the 2010 British Grand Prix.

The Polish driver made a superb getaway to move up to third at the end of the first lap. However, following his battle with Fernando Alonso, the 25-year-old was forced out of the race with a driveshaft failure – ending a promising afternoon.

Team-mate Vitaly Petrov finished in thirteenth.

Robert Kubica – DNF: I had a dream first lap, gaining a lot of places, but after that our pace was not so good and I was lacking overall grip. Following my pitstop I had a nice fight with Alonso, but he overtook me by cutting turn eight. I was on the inside, he was on the outside and he passed me with all four wheels off the track. The team informed me that he would have to give back the position, but before he could do that we had a driveshaft failure at the rear of the car, so all I could do was bring it back to the pits and retire.

Vitaly Petrov – 13th: Today I think it was possible to finish in the points, but I had some bad luck with a puncture after the Safety Car period which cost me a lot of time. My start was not too bad, and I made up three positions on the first lap. After then, though, it was really difficult to overtake because there are no slow corners at this circuit, but I tried my best. It’s good to have finished the race because it gives us lots of data and gives me more experience of the track.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: Robert had an exceptional start to the race, but unfortunately this was to be the only enjoyable moment of the day. It’s disappointing to see him retire, but the car has been extremely reliable this year and this is his first retirement of the season. As for Vitaly, his race pace was good today, but he picked up a puncture and that ruined his race. We now have to bounce back and find more speed because we struggled for overall pace this weekend. We also saw today how close the fight is with Mercedes and we need to work hard to get back ahead of them.

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: It was a tough afternoon for us and it’s disappointing to come away empty-handed. Robert made a fantastic start, up into third place on lap one, but we didn’t have the pace today to race Mercedes. When we stopped Robert on lap 13 to stay ahead of Fernando, Rosberg was able to put in two or three very quick laps and managed to jump ahead of us. Robert’s race was ended by what appears to have been a failure of the left rear driveshaft, although we are still investigating exactly what happened. Vitaly’s race was looking promising and he had made it up to the top ten until he picked up a puncture, which forced him to pit and dropped him back to P13.

Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: This was a disappointing result after all our hard work over the race weekend. We had made another step forward with the car for Silverstone, and we saw a flash of that potential with Robert in qualifying. He made an excellent start, which is something we have worked on as well, and he was running in a good position, ahead of a number of quicker rivals. Although some of them got past, we could still have scored a top-five finish, but Robert’s retirement was a reminder, if one was needed, that you need to be 100% reliable if you want to finish in the points. The only possible response is to work even harder, to ensure that there is no repeat – and that we continue to improve at the next race.