Robert Kubica has admitted that he is disappointed by the start of his 2009 campaign, and is far from convinced that having tested at the Bahrain International Circuit will be of any advantage this weekend, but insists that rash decisions will not help anyone.
The Pole enjoyed a successful 2008 season, claiming a maiden grand prix win, and was expected to be a challenger for the title as BMW Sauber moved into the next phase of its Formula One development in 2009. However, regardless of whether the team is disadvantaged by not having the same sort of 'trick' diffuser as the likes of Brawn, Toyota and Williams, Kubica and team-mate Nick Heidfeld have struggled to match some of the teams ahead of them in the midfield, with only the German's surprise Malaysia podium on the scoreboard.
"It's a mix of reliability and performance - and a bit of bad luck as well," Kubica sighed, "Not an ideal start to the year, but that is how it is and we hope to get better soon. Bahrain will be difficult but, for sure, we hope for some points.
"We have a good memory from here - although we finished third [in 2008], it couldn't be better as we were right behind the two Ferraris, which were very strong here last year. Today's situation is a bit different for both of the teams, for us and for Ferrari. We are not as strong as we were, and this situation makes it more difficult for the coming weekend.
"We have been testing here, but I only drove one day because, on two days, I stopped because of the sand storm. It can be quite an advantage, a small advantage, but I am not expecting miracles just because we were strong here last year and we have been testing. I think the gap is similar to Ferrari - as we have seen in the last three races, we've been close together, sometimes in front, sometimes behind them, so I think the gap is very similar.
"Of course, it's difficult to predict what will happen in Formula One but we have seen today's situation is completely different to last year. There are new teams which are very strong, and there are big teams in the past which are now struggling. This is the reality. There is nothing to panic about. We have to keep working, keep improving and stay calm and everybody will be going in the same direction to get back on the track where we would like to be with our goals, with our targets, as a team, as a driver. The situation is not the best, it's not ideal but we have to take it step by step, move forward and try to catch the frontrunners."
Surprisingly, Kubica insisted that he did not feel too frustrated about continuing to run basically the same car that he had run well with in Australia - but then struggled with in Malaysia and China - while the likes of Renault and McLaren had managed to introduce significant updates in Shanghai.
"This is the reality," he shrugged "We didn't get any big upgrades until now and we will not get any here as well, just a few really small ones. Somehow, we have seen this last year, I'm pretty sure, so it's not really frustration, this is the situation.
"We are waiting for the Barcelona package, which will probably be a big step forward, but, as you know, everybody else is working as well. Everybody is expecting to move forward in Barcelona with their new aero packages, so we have to see how we will be compared to them in Barcelona."