Robert Kubica is hopeful of having a 'strong race' after qualifying well for the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya today, venue for the fifth round on the F1 2010 schedule.

Kubica, who has made a brilliant start to the season, put his Renault R30 in seventh on the grid just behind record-breaking multiple F1 world champion, Michael Schumacher and significantly ahead of the other Mercedes car of Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa's Ferrari.

Now the Pole is determined to get more points and maintain his recent run, which has seen him finish second, fourth and fifth in the last three grand's prix.

"Overall it was a good qualifying session for me. Seventh is a strong place to start and I think I got the maximum from the car," Kubica stated. "We don't have a big package of updates for this race so it's encouraging to be ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes, which is not what I was expecting.

"I know that it will be a tough race tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how the soft tyres cope with the heavy fuel load in the opening laps. I think our race pace will be similar to our qualifying pace so I'm hopeful of a strong race and scoring some good points tomorrow."

Renault boss, Eric Boullier meanwhile was once again impressed with his number one driver. He was also not too displeased with F1 2010 rookie Vitaly Petrov, who qualified 14th, despite crashing out in final practice. Petrov will start 19th though, having got a five-place penalty.

"Robert did an excellent job to qualify in seventh and if somebody had told us before the weekend that we would qualify ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes, we would have been very happy," Boullier continued. "Obviously our expectations are changing with every race and we are now aiming even higher up the grid compared to the start of the season.

"Vitaly was unlucky to get caught out with his accident this morning, which affected this preparation for qualifying. Even so he only missed out on Q3 by three tenths and without losing the track time I'm sure he could have made it into the top ten.

"So it's encouraging to know that both cars have the potential to make it into Q3. Again I want to say a big thanks to the team for their hard work to get Vitaly's car ready in time for the start of Q1."


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