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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 15 May 2010 18:14 UK

Renault's Robert Kubica delighted with Monaco display

Robert Kubica
Kubica is eighth in the drivers' championship with 44 points

Renault's Robert Kubica hailed his impressive second-placed qualifying performance at Monaco on Saturday as a "great day" for the team.

Kubica recorded a time of one minute 14.120 seconds but was pipped to pole by Red Bull's Mark Webber by 0.294secs.

"When you are so close you are a bit upset but we have to be realistic," said Kubica.

"It's not the best but for us, for myself and the team it is a great day and great achievement."

The Pole's performance represents the best from Renault since Hungary last year, after which they became embroiled in the Singapore 2008 race-fixing scandal that almost forced them out of the sport.

If the same car [Red Bull] is one-and-a-half seconds quicker through Barcelona, there is no reason why we should qualify in front of them

Robert Kubica

"Five months ago the team was not sure if it would exist but here we are now on the front row at Monaco," added the 25-year-old.

It is also the first time Kubica has started on the front row of the grid since the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, which he began in second and went on to win.

Kubica remains realistic about his chances of repeating such a result in Monte Carlo, especially in the face of such serious competition from Webber and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who qualified in third.

The pair have taken advantage of the fastest car in Formula 1 to dominate qualifying this season and last weekend in Spain, Webber claimed victory after having started on pole.

Despite a very competitive performance in practice, Kubica played down his chances on Sunday.

606: DEBATE
Andrew Stiel

"If the same car [Red Bull] is one-and-a-half seconds quicker through Barcelona, there is no reason why we should qualify in front of them," he stated.

"I was surprised by our pace during free practice and qualifying but miracles don't happen from one day to the other."

However, due to the nature of the Monaco circuit, Kubica feels teams' tactical approach to pit-stops will be key to Sunday's race.

"It's not about race pace but about bringing the car home, pitting at the right moment, rejoining from the pit stop without traffic and bringing the car home," he said.

"Of course, race pace helps but even if you are one second slower or one second quicker, it doesn't matter really.

"What matters is to pit at the right moment, double quick pit stop and get out in front of everybody."



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see also
Webber pips Kubica to Monaco pole
15 May 10 |  Formula 1
Button accuses Massa of blocking
15 May 10 |  Formula 1
Crash ends Alonso's Monaco hopes
15 May 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso sets Monaco practice pace
13 May 10 |  Formula 1
Dominant Webber wins Spanish GP
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull are untouchable - Button
07 May 10 |  Formula 1


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