Robert Kubica is seeing his Formula One race debut as a 'great opportunity' to help him secure a race seat with BMW Sauber in 2007, although he is under no illusions that his maiden weekend will be a tough one.

Replacing the 'injured' Jacques Villeneuve, BMW's highly regarded test driver will become the first Polish driver to line-up on an F1 grid, although he admits that any hopes of him posting a comparable result to his team-mate Nick Heidfeld will be difficult considering he has to learn the weekend format beyond Friday and compete on a circuit he has not raced on since 2001.

"I knew just one hour before they announced so it was quite unexpected for me to join the team on Sunday for the race," he said. "It is a good opportunity for me, a good chance not only to run on Friday, but to see how Saturday and Sunday work, to discover a weekend of Formula One and I hope for a good weekend."

However, rumours have been rife over whether Kubica's debut may be something far more permanent with the team, particularly as Villeneuve's crash in the German Grand Prix was originally thought to be innocuous.

Nonetheless, the World Series by Renault champion claims he knows nothing more over his future participation with the team, but admits he is in an ideal position to stake a claim for a seat in 2007.

"I don't know," he insisted. "You have to ask Mario and not me. This is a good chance for me, but I don't think it's easy to judge someone after one race. It will be difficult to stay with Nick, such an experienced driver and I have to discover everything that happens during a Grand Prix weekend: new qualifying format etc.

"The last race I did was Macau last year so it's a long time ago and qualifying will be very important but we have to see what I can do. I have to jump into the car and drive as fast as I can and then we will see."

 

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