13 October 2010
Renault: If we give Kubica just half a chance of title, he'll win it
Renault F1 technical director James Allison argues that Robert Kubica is so good that should the team give him a car that's 'even half-capable' of claiming the crown, the Pole will achieve it
Already rated as the star of the season by many, Robert Kubica has received glowing praise from his employer Renault – with the Enstone-based outfit's technical director James Allison contending that 'if we can give him a car that's even half-capable of getting a championship, he'll get one'.
Kubica has regularly excelled behind the wheel of his Renault R30, never failing to make the Q3 top ten shoot-out in qualifying, on three occasions lining up inside the top three on the starting grid, achieving a trio of podium finishes and twelve times coming home inside the points from 16 starts.
Only once has the highly-regarded Pole been out-qualified by fast-but-wild young team-mate Vitaly Petrov, and his laudable consistency leaves him eighth in the drivers' standings with three races left to run as he has tallied 114 of Renault's 133 points this season to-date.
Allison makes it clear that he holds the Kraków native in just as high esteem as he does the 25-year-old's predecessor at the team, double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso – and given the tools to do the job, he is convinced that Kubica can go on to at least emulate the Spaniard's outstanding success.
“If we can give him a car that's even half-capable of getting a championship, he'll get one,” the Englishman told the BBC's Mark Hughes. “Not everyone in the pit-lane can say that about their drivers. He's properly committed to being a world champion, no doubt about that. He is one of those very, very top guys where you know that if the car is not running at the front it's because of the car, not him.
“He's not only incredibly fast, but you just know you can rely on him to do a fast lap when that's what's needed. You know he will not make mistakes when the pressure is on him, and he'll plough out lap-after-lap-after-lap at a really good pace. He expects a lot from everyone all the time; he's positive, demanding and pushing, but puts the work in himself too.
“Having a really top flight driver like that gives you a fantastic baseline to work from. In that regard he's similar to Fernando, but the area where he's different is he is more intense about it, seems more fully immersed in racing and wanting to be a champion.”
Kubica has played a pivotal role in helping to carry Renault to almost within striking-distance of closest rival Mercedes Grand Prix for fourth spot in the constructors' rankings, with 43 points separating the pair and 129 remaining up for grabs over the final three grands prix of the 2010 campaign – but Allison leaves no doubt that the Oxfordshire concern's target is to do rather better than that next season, and to return to the kind of form that saw them crowned back-to-back world champions with Alonso in 2005 and 2006.
“We have much better tools in conceiving next year's car,” the 42-year-old explained. “Our CFD department is now a very powerful tool, and we have a tunnel that gives us a much better and more realistic simulation to what happens on the track. There's a bunch of other things very helpful, such as how much quicker it speeds up and slows down than the old road.
“Although it's only two or three minutes per run, when you do as many runs as we do that stacks up to an awful lot of time and throughput is a very important thing in a tunnel. Our old road used to take about 30 seconds from one yaw angle to our other yaw angle, whereas this one does it in a couple of seconds and that productivity improvement is actually quite substantial. I see no reason why we can't be competing at the front in 2011.”
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