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Monday, December 8, 2008

BMW’s Kubica shocked by Honda’s sudden exit

BMW driver Robert Kubica has termed Honda’s decision to pull out of Formula One as a big shock. “Honda was giving an impression of being a stable team with a very good budget,” Kubica told DNA.

The 23-year-old Pole termed the development as unpredictable. “No one was expecting it. One could expect some smaller teams to have problems. But, certainly not Honda,” he said.

Though these are difficult times for Formula One, Kubica said he was focused on the next year especially since the cars would be undergoing massive changes due to new technical regulations. When asked about his opinion of the 2009 car, Kubica said that slick tyres, Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) and reduction of aerodynamics won’t change the global picture of Formula One. “However, it is going to be a big challenge for designers and engineers to build new cars without compromising their performance.”

On whether drivers would find it difficult to adapt to these changes, Kubica said the new power regeneration unit KERS which will give an additional power boost to the car, was not affecting driving. “I think slick tyres are the best for racing. Driving with grooved tyres was really strange,” he said.

Kubica, who had tested the 2009 regulations car in Barcelona ten days ago, admitted that the 40 per cent reduction in aerodynamics aid would make the car slower compared to this year. “I am expecting the lap times to reduce by 2.5 seconds.

However, it will be the same for everyone on the grid.” He, however, said that slick tyres would slightly compensate the loss of grip due to lower downforce. When asked about Bernie Ecclestone’s proposal to introduce a medal system in Formula One, Kubica said it doesn’t make any difference to him. “I always give my maximum in every race. Whether medal or points, it will not change my approach even a bit,” he remarked.

When asked about his expectations from the next year, Kubica, who was leading the 2008 championship after seven races, said that it was too early to make any judgement. “With cars undergoing design and equipment makeover, it is difficult to say what would happen the next year. Our team is working very hard to bring out the best car. I hope to repeat the results of 2008, especially those during the first half of the season.”

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