Robert Kubica refused to get too carried away with Renault's start to the Japanese Grand Prix weekend despite setting the third quickest time during Friday practice at Suzuka.

Kubica was best of the rest behind the two Red Bulls in both 90 minute sessions, although he ended the day more then seven-tenths of a second down on Sebastian Vettel after a dominant showing from the championship leaders.

With rain due for Saturday, Kubica admitted it was vital to have been able to complete plenty of running in the dry time available given that the race itself is set to run in dry conditions on Sunday.

"It's nice to be in P3 in both sessions, but we have to remember that this is only free practice," he said. "We need to wait and see what the weather will bring us tomorrow and try to do our best in all conditions.

"The forecast is saying there will be quite a lot of rain, so it was important to do a lot of running today and complete all our evaluation ahead of the race, which looks like it might be dry. If it is wet tomorrow, then today will have been our only chance to drive on dry tyres before the race."

Team-mate Vitaly Petrov also enjoyed a solid day on track as he posted the seventh quickest time in the sister car but the Russian said he anticipated a difficult day on Saturday when the rain arrives.

"I was quite satisfied with my day because we found a good balance with the car and this is really important for this circuit. In the morning we tried not to take too many risks and do normal runs to help me learn the circuit. In the second free practice we just tried to push a bit more to understand the car and the set-up.

"We changed a lot and the car feels much better so the team did a good job. But let's wait and see what happens tomorrow because I think it will be a very tough day."

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