Robert Kubica has said that his Renault team are confident of more race pace in Turkey next weekend.
The Pole has been the unlikely front-runner of the early season, regularly mixing it with the big four teams and scoring a podium last time out in Monaco.
“I…think we can be competitive in Turkey because the circuit characteristics are similar to Barcelona where we had good performance from the car. I’m also hoping that the new updates we have for this race will help us close the gap and qualify a little bit higher up than we did in Barcelona,” said Kubica.
He cautioned against overoptimism, however, given that Istanbul Park’s characteristics are markedly different from those of Monaco.
“The race in Monaco was our strongest performance so far this season, but it’s important that this result doesn’t make us overoptimistic because I think it will be difficult to repeat that pace this weekend,” he warned.
His competitive start to the season, he continued, had come as a slight surprise to all at the Anglo-French team.
“We had some idea during winter testing of what the car was capable of, we understood its strengths and we worked on maximising them. But I’m still a bit surprised to have scored so many points, which shows what a good job we are doing as a team. We have taken the opportunities that have come our way, especially in unusual races like Australia or the wet qualifying session in Malaysia.
“We’ve also taken our opportunities when the car has been strong, as we did in Monaco. So I think we can be very pleased with what we have achieved and proud of all the hard work at the factory to bring new parts for the car every weekend. But we know there is still a long way to go this season and we need to continue pushing hard and improving the car.”