Robert Kubica admitted that the start of the Monaco Grand Prix had been the pivotal moment after he had to settle for third place on the streets of the principality.
The Renault driver qualified second on the grid but lost out to Sebastian Vettel on the run to St Devote having suffered from excess wheelspin as he attempted to jump ahead of pole sitter Mark Webber.
Despite showing strong pace throughout the race, Kubica was unable to find a way back ahead of Vettel and was forced to settle for third although he will still delighted to bring home a podium finish.
“Finishing third in Monaco is a super result for us after an excellent weekend,” he said. “Nobody was expecting us to finish on the podium here, but we were up at the front all weekend and the whole team really deserves this result.
“At the start of the race I lost a place to Sebastian, but I knew it was always going to be difficult starting from the dirty side of the track. Normally I would have defended the position, but Mark got quite a slow pull-away from the line and I thought I might have a chance to overtake him. Unfortunately I got some wheelspin and it was too late to close the door to Sebastian, and I also had to defend from Felipe.
“In the race we had excellent pace and I think I was a bit quicker than Sebastian on the prime tyres, especially after the restarts, which shows the progress we continue to make as a team and is very encouraging for the next few races.”
Team-mate Vitaly Petrov however was a late retirement from the race after running into brake issues, although his race had been ruined by the need for a second stop after picking up a puncture.
“It's a bit disappointing not to make the finish of the race but I felt something wrong at the rear so the team decided to stop me with a few laps to go,” he said. “Unfortunately my race was also affected by a puncture, which cost me a lot of time and put me a lap down.
“The start of the race was not too bad and I made up a few positions, but we didn't make up as many positions during the pit stops as we hoping to and we need to understand why this was the case. Still, I completed most of the race and this is more good experience for me. Hopefully I can come back to Monaco next year and score some points.”