Unfazed by returning to the track that almost claimed his life, Robert Kubica once again established himself as a threat to the front runners this weekend after an impressive showing in Friday practice.
Putting the memories of his horrific 200mph crash at Montreal last year well and truly behind him, the Polish driver pushed pace-setter Lewis Hamilton hard in the afternoon warm-up, forcing the Briton to pull out all the stops – most visibly at the final chicane – to seal the top spot with a time just under three tenths quicker than his own best effort.
Kubica was unable to respond to Hamilton’s pace and wound up in P2, but crucially for BMW Sauber, ahead of the Ferraris, illustrating the potential of the Hinwil-based outfit to once again upset the formbook.
“We had a very busy afternoon, after losing quite a bit of time in the morning due to the damp track,” said Kubica after a productive day’s running.
“We ran a very comprehensive programme in the second session, trying a lot of different things on the car’s set-up. The grip level is still very low, which makes the car quite nervous. However, we were also able to do the tyre comparison, so we have a good base to start with for tomorrow.”
Kubica’s consistent presence at the front-end of the timing sheets is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile with the talk of him being a non-runner in the title race.
Indeed, with three podiums, three top-four finishes and only one DNF to his name already this season, not to mention his first career pole position in Bahrain, it is widely believed to be only a matter of time before the BMW driver climbs onto the top step of the rostrum.
The Polish star arrives in Montreal only six points short of championship leader Lewis Hamilton and three points adrift of Kimi Raikkonen.