Renault number one driver Robert Kubica claimed another podium at the F1 2010 Belgian Grand Prix today, despite an error in his final pit stop.
Kubica, who had qualified third, ran at the front throughout and towards the end looked it like he would beat Mark Webber to P2. However when the rain returned late on he made a mistake when he stopped to change tyres, overshooting his pit box and losing a vital few seconds, which dropped him back behind the Aussie at the chequered flag.
Kubica however, wasn't too disappointed, especially as his newly F-duct enabled R30 ran so well at Spa-Francorchamps, allowing him to claim his third top-three finish of the year.
“This is a great result for the team after a weekend when we were competitive in every session, and we were racing with McLaren and Red Bull. Nobody was expecting us to be at this level in Spa, so I think we can be pleased with the work we have done,” Kubica said.
“The conditions were very difficult at the start, and the track was damp before and after the Safety Car came out. I was running in fourth place when [Jenson] Button and [Sebastian] Vettel collided, and I think I could have gone quicker than Jenson during that part of the race.
“When the track was clear, I was able to push to the limit and the car felt really good. Webber stopped before me to change onto the prime tyre, but the mechanics did a great job to get me out in front of him and, although it was very close up the hill after Eau Rouge, I held onto the position and then even pulled away a little bit.
“When the rain came again, the circuit was very slippery, but I was catching Lewis [Hamilton] on the lap when we stopped. As I came into the pit lane, I told myself to take it easy because it was so slippery, but there were a number of controls I had to change on the steering wheel. I was distracted doing this and that was my mistake: when I looked up, it was past the braking point, I locked up the front wheels and collided with some of the mechanics - fortunately without hurting anybody.
“That cost me one position, but it was a race in which mistakes were very easy to make, so we can be happy that I maintained my position from the start and that our pace was very competitive.”
Renault team boss, Eric Boullier meanwhile was also pleased: “Robert's third podium of the season is a great result for the team. Overall I think we can be very satisfied with this weekend, especially because we brought our latest updates, including the f-duct, and managed to get it working properly straight away. This weekend has shown us that we have taken a good step forward, which is very promising for the rest of the season,” he added.