Robert Kubica has pointed to a possible tyre issue for BMW Sauber's apparent fall from grace in the Hungarian Grand Prix, and admits that he hopes that his eighth place there will be the catalyst to a return to form over the final seven races of the F1 season.
The Pole, who took his and the team's first grand prix win in Canada in June, has not been able to replicate that sort of performance since, with the Hungarian race representing something of a nadir as he took the final point and team-mate Nick Heidfeld finished out of the points altogether.
That result prompted team boss Mario Theissen to suggest that third would be the highest place that BMW Sauber could hope to achieve in the championship, even if it rediscovered its form over the final seven races of the year. Kubica, too, is keen to get back into the mix after Budapest, and is confident that the cause of his woes can be overcome.
"A few laps after the start, the car became very difficult to drive and my feeling was that the pressure of the tyres was too high," he told the official F1 website, "After the first pit-stop, I realised that the massive lack of grip was still there and, [in] those circumstances, you simply have to slow down since the grip and the traction become very poor.
"Fourth position on the starting grid shows that the car was not so bad for that track, and track conditions were similar on Saturday and Sunday [so], as I said, I would point my finger in the direction of the tyre issue. There were also some technical problems that may have influenced performance, although in a limited way."
Having dropped to fourth place in the drivers' championship, Kubica is keen to begin closing the gap again on the top three - he currently lies just five points off third-placed Felipe Massa, but 13 from overall leader Lewis Hamilton - beginning with the unfamiliar Valencia street circuit this weekend.
"I hope that Hungary is the turning point of the season, since this situation puts me in the position to fight for points rather than for podiums," he noted, "In the last two races, we scored only eight points, clearly not enough. This trend brings us back to the 2007 season conditions, which clearly is not the team's goal.
"We did not discover in Hungary that our car had lost competitiveness in respect of most of the other teams, [so] let's see if we can be back to where we are supposed to be in Valencia. Reliability is our biggest strength, but it should not become the only strength. For a driver, reliability is only a problem when you don't have it, otherwise you don't think about it. Instead, when you are racing with lack of pace, you notice it and the feeling is not good."