Robert Kubica managed to showcase the potential of the R30 in Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying, with the Pole taking a strong ninth place.
Although the 25-year-old declared himself happy with his qualifying effort, the Pole claimed that he could have gone even better, had it not been for a mistake on his final qualifying run.
Meanwhile Vitaly Petrov, who is making his F1 debut this weekend, made it through to Q2 but could only manage the seventeenth fastest time. After qualifying, Renault’s chief race engineer revealed that the Russian ran wide in turn sixteen during his final run – ultimately costing him time.
Robert Kubica (9th): “The first target for today was to get into Q3, so we can pleased with that part of the qualifying session, but I am actually a bit disappointed to be only ninth on the grid. I did two good laps in Q1 and Q2, but on my lap in the final part of the session I had a big snap oversteer in the hairpin at turn 16 that cost me about four tenths. On the positive side, we have a clearer picture of where we stand now, and it looks pretty positive when you see the cars around us on the grid: the R30 clearly has good potential. It will be a long, tough race tomorrow but our target has to be to move up the field.”
Vitaly Petrov (17th): “For my first ever qualifying session, this is a normal result, but I really enjoyed today. Our first target was to make Q2 so we achieved this, but we were not very lucky in Q2 and could not continue. Tomorrow is race day and it will be very interesting to see how we do – we will certainly try our best.”
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: “Vitaly had a solid qualifying session for his first Grand Prix weekend. He went comfortably through Q1, which was good. In Q2, he went into turn 9 a little bit too quick on his final timed lap, so he will start P17 tomorrow. As for Robert, he had a solid, untroubled Q1 and Q2 and then went comfortably into Q3, which was what we had hoped for. On his Q3 lap he had a bit of oversteer in turn 16, which cost him quite a bit of time. Overall, we are pleased with the performance of the R30 today and we know that the car works well with high fuel loads and has good straight-line speed. We look forward to a strong race tomorrow.”