Robert Kubica says he is looking forward to the challenge of the new Valencia street circuit as the Spanish city prepares to play host to the European Grand Prix next weekend.

The BMW Sauber driver, who took his one and only F1 victory to date on the Montreal street circuit, will look to keep his slender championship hopes alive with the gap to leader Lewis Hamilton currently sitting at 13 points.

A self-proclaimed fan of street circuits, the Pole admitted it would be important to get a good basic set-up in place for the opening practice sessions before the teams work to get the best from the cars ahead of the race weekend itself.

"I am very much looking forward to Valencia as I am a big fan of street circuits in general," he said. "They are very demanding as they are often bumpy and the street surface changes. When you make a mistake you easily run into barriers. Anyway, Valencia will not be a complete street circuit. There will be lots of run-off areas for safety reasons. The FIA puts a lot of effort into safety, which is good.

"On a street circuit it is of major importance to have a good basic set-up which is easy to drive. The lap time improvement has to be gained step by step, you cannot drive in too wild a style. Also, in terms of the racing line you have to approach this gradually. It is very important to walk the track before driving it the first time to get a feeling for the surface and the layout."

Team-mate Nick Heidfeld meanwhile said he too was looking forward to tackling Valencia for the first time.

"I'm always pleased when a new race track turns up in the calendar, and I'm particularly keen to experience Valencia," he said. "It will be an authentic street circuit in the sense that it runs through the town centre, unlike the Melbourne or Montreal tracks. In terms of its charms and challenges, the Valencia race will probably come closest to the Monaco Grand Prix. I really like Valencia, which I've visited many times, of course.

"We do a lot of testing on the permanent race track in Cheste and we've rolled out our new Formula One car in Valencia on several occasions. The first few metres in a brand-new car are always a very special experience."


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