Robert Kubica believes Renault is in a much better position to win races in 2011 than it was last season.
Renault finished fifth in the constructors’ championship in 2010, as it recovered from a turbulent 2009 in which the team lost major sponsors and team principal Flavio Briatore in the wake of the Crashgate scandal. Ahead of last season, investment company Genii Capital bought a majority stake in the team to secure its future and Eric Boullier was brought in to manage it.
Although Lotus has come in as a shareholder this winter, Kubica says there is a much more “stable” base for the team to build upon and win races.
“I am confident that 2011 will be a good season because during this winter the team were able to work with a more stable financial and management situation, compared to one year ago,” he told the official Formula One website. “Eric Boullier said that he wants our car to win races this year – he expressed exactly what I feel!”
2011 will be Kubica’s sixth season in F1, but he remains realistic about his chances of challenging for the championship.
“I am very aware that for winning a title you need several favourable circumstances,” he said. “It is a bit like a gearbox – if just one of the gears is not working properly then the whole mechanism collapses or at least loses competitiveness.”
Kubica has competed in several rallies in recent years in between his F1 commitments, but he said he was not planning to follow Kimi Raikkonen’s example and switch sports any time soon.
“Now I can enjoy rallying because I can drive without focusing on the result, but just for pure fun,” he added. “It would probably be different if I became a professional rally driver, but I won’t write off the possibility that I could make the switch in the future. In rallying you can be competitive regardless of your age and that gives me plenty of time before I start to consider it seriously.”