Robert Kubica says it is difficult to predict how Renault will perform in the Italian Grand Prix this weekend despite its strong display last time out at Spa.
The Pole was on the pace through the Belgian weekend and ended up with a podium finish from the Spa race, but he makes the trip to Monza expecting more a challenge at the high-speed, low-downforce circuit.
“I think this will be a very interesting weekend to judge the performance of the cars,” he said. “Spa was a good example of how powerful the f-duct can be and we were immediately more competitive and closer to the front when we fitted it. The effect will be less powerful in Monza because the cars run with less drag, but there will be still be an advantage, so we need to see which teams use it and if we are able to as well.
“This circuit can sometimes throw up some surprises, so I prefer to stay cautious when it comes to predictions. But if the car feels as good as it did in Spa, then there's no reason why we won't be competitive in Monza.”
Team-mate Vitaly Petrov will seek to avoid a repeat of the qualifying error at Monza that saw him start at the back of the field, and he said he was looking forward to returning to a venue where he has enjoyed success in the past in GP2.
“It was good to score some points, but we could have done better,” he said of the Belgian event. “Because of my mistake in qualifying, I only started from 23rd on the grid, but we made a good recovery and it was a good race. However, we know that we are capable of finishing much higher. It's good to finish in the points, but we know that sixth place could have been possible.
“I was on pole position for GP2 in Monza last year. I was leading for the majority of the race, but finished second because I had to slow down when there was an accident in front of me and I lost the lead. Despite this, it remains a good memory for me, although now in Formula 1 I will need to learn it again and adapt my driving style. Monza is a great track with some famous corners like Parabolica and the Lesmos. What is important is not to make any mistakes, because even if you lose a few tenths, it could cost five places or even more. It will be interesting to race there and I look forward to it.”