Robert Kubica once more staked a claim to Renault being F1's fourth team, finishing fifth behind Red Bull, the two McLarens and an anomalous Williams, while Ferrari struggled.
“I got a pretty good start today and I managed to keep my position, then had a really nice clean fight with Jenson – I think we spent about half a lap side by side,” the Pole explains. “In fact, we both managed to overtake Webber going into turn eight: I was on the inside, Jenson was on the outside and we both squeezed Mark to get past. And then, Jenson and I went through the next two corners side by side as well, so it was a pretty fun first lap and I came out on top of the battle. After that, we got lucky when the Safety Car came out: I was already braking for the last corner when the message came on the steering wheel, so I decided to head straight to the pits.”
“Unfortunately, though, we didn't manage to take maximum advantage of the opportunity: I was the first car into the pits but the third car to leave. If everything had gone smoothly, we could have finished on the podium this afternoon, but unfortunately we didn't manage to do so.”
Team principal Eric Boullier praised Kubica's drive – though he to believed they could have done better – but was also disappointed that the team couldn't leave Spain with two loads of points. “To finish fifth with Robert is a good result and we've made up some ground on Mercedes in the championship. We managed to react quickly to the Safety Car and adapt the strategy, but I still feel we could have come away with a better result. It's disappointing to see Vitaly miss out on points, especially after his good performance in qualifying. When you are in P15 after the first lap it's very difficult to get back into the points, but at least he had pretty strong pace today.”
The Russian had struggled from start of the race, as he describes. “When you start the race in tenth, the minimum you expect is to keep your position. My problems began at the start because I got big wheel spin and lost a lot of places. After that I tried to keep up good pace and tried to attack De la Rosa, but he had very good speed on the straight it's very difficult to overtake here so I couldn't get by. As a rookie it's good experience for me to finish the race and we know what we need to do for the coming races.”