BMW-Sauber star Robert Kubica is approaching his first Monaco Grand Prix this weekend buoyed by his best result of the season so far last time out in Barcelona, as he finally overcame his reliability demons to take the chequered flag in fourth place.

The Pole has driven around the Principality in a Formula 1 car before, but he is well aware there is an immense difference between that and actually racing around its narrow streets. He is confident, however, he will soon be on the pace.

"I drove a Formula 1 car here last year as a Friday driver," the 22-year-old underlined. "Unfortunately we had some problems during those free practice sessions and I couldn't do many laps. This will be my first race here in a Formula 1 car which is something special, but normally I perform well on street circuits. Last year's Monaco Grand Prix was not really good for our team, but we have worked pretty hard to prepare for this weekend and to be competitive."

Reflecting on his Spanish performance and result and subsequent test session at Paul Ricard, Kubica said he was optimistic the squad had now resolved its early reliability woes that cost potential points-scoring finishes in three races, and is hopeful of a consistently strong challenge over the remainder of the campaign.

"Of course I was happy," the Pole enthused, "not only because of the fourth place but also because this was the first race this season without any problems, with the car working 100 per cent and without making any mistakes in qualifying.

"Everybody has worked well, so the results come. The results should have already come in the first race in Australia, but we've had reliability problems. I don't know exactly what was (team-mate) Nick (Heidfeld)'s failure in Barcelona, but of course we are trying to do our best to get rid of the problems and I think we've made really good progress in this direction. Now we have to concentrate on keeping going and finishing with two cars where they should be - in the points."



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