Amid all the hoopla over Red Bull several interesting performances went largely unnoticed in Turkey, among them that of Robert Kubica.
The Pole finished sixth, which was nothing too exciting after his second place Monaco. However he insists that he was much faster than the Mercedes duo of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, who finished ahead of him.
Alas a disappointing qualifying performance meant that he started behind them and was stuck behind Rosberg all afternoon, eventually finishing right on the tail of the two silver cars.
Intriguingly although Kubica set the fourth fastest lap of the race, all those ahead – Vitaly Petrov, Mark Webber and Jaime Alguersuari – set their best times after stopping an extra time and taking on new tyres.
“Pacewise we were very strong,” he said. “A much better feeling than in qualifying. And unfortunately we started behind the Mercedes, and I think they were slightly slower than us, because I could keep up the pace easy behind Rosberg and Michael.
“Always when you are behind you are losing a bit of downforce, so I think we were quicker than them. But we started behind them, and unfortunately we didn’t gain positions.”
Kubica had hoped that an early stop would get him past the Mercs. He came in on lap 13, followed by Schumacher a lap later, and then Rosberg.
“I did a very good lap after my pit stop, but unfortunately I don’t think my pit stop was the fastest one. I think Mercedes again did very good pit stops. Actually I was really expecting to overtake Rosberg, because my out lap was really quick, around 1.2s quicker than our pace before the pit stop. Unfortunately he came right in front of me.”
Kubica says he’s looking forward to Montreal, where he crashed in 2007 but won a year later. However, he’s going to have to wait a while for some decent updates.
“Coming back to Canada where I won two years ago, I enjoy a lot driving there. Unfortunately we were planning a very big upgrade there, which will not come. So we have to wait another Grand Prix to get a really big step, and we hope this step will bring us to the top.”