Robert Kubica was in reflective mood as he faced the media at the Hungaroring on Thursday, but that did not prevent him from paying tribute to the army of fans that follow his exploits in Formula One.

On the eve of the first anniversary of His F1 debut, the Pole appeared unimpressed that his progress in the top flight had been attracting as much attention as it has, seeing his improvement towards being a regular podium threat as natural, but admitted that was inspired by the dedication of his supporters.

"I think, in one's whole life, you make progress," he philosophised, "At every grand prix, every day, you have a new experience which you have to use in the future. Of course, it's much harder now to get every - I don't say even tenth - half a tenth out of the car, out of yourself, from the tyres, but I think every grand prix teaches us a new lesson and we have to learn it and gain experience.

"In the end, I'm a racing driver, I'm trying to get as much as possible out of the car. Of course, there are good moments, but also bad moments, as in life as a whole, and all drivers had good memories and bad feelings. But we are concentrating on the future and this grand prix."

Last year's Hungarian Grand Prix - the wet-dry affair won by Jenson Button - holds both good and bad memories for Kubica.

"Last year was a pretty up and down weekend for me here, finishing in the points only to be disqualified," he reflected, "This year, I hope for a better weekend. The car is performing much better this year and we are looking pretty strong. I think it will be difficult to fight against Ferrari and McLaren, but I hope to be there, just behind them or maybe fighting with them. And we need to use opportunities. We are coming from a not very successful weekend at N?rburgring, so I hope for good points for the team.

"And, of course, probably a lot of Polish fans will come, so I'm really looking forward to it."

Kubica's fans have become a focal point of the season, with the red-and-white flag of Poland becoming a regular feature in grandstands around the world. The Pole admits that even he has been surprised by the reaction to his graduation to F1.

"Last year, I was already surprised, because [my deal to replace Jacques Villeneuve] was announced on the Wednesday or Tuesday and there were a lot of people [at the Hungaroring]," he recalled, "Even in China or Japan, there were a lot of Polish fans, and it's not easy to follow Formula One, so I'm really surprised how many people were there and probably there will be a lot here."



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