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GP Week : Issue 3
27 www. GPWEEK. com F1 malaysia >> ROBERT Kubica has praised his BMW-Sauber team following his best Formula 1 result. His second place in the Malaysian Grand Prix saw BMW notch up its first set of back-to- back podiums and returned the Pole to the podium for the first time since Monza 2006. “It’s a fantastic day for the team, Petronas and for me – the second consecutive podium,” he said. “I want to thank everybody in the team who worked very hard over the last two months to improve the car. It all paid off with a brilliant result.” The podium finish was also an emotional moment for his race engineer Toni Cuquerella, who only joined the team at the end of the 2007 season from Super Aguri. “It’s great,” he told GPWeek. “I just arrived and then we finished on the podium. It’s awesome. It’s been a great moment for him, and he needed it because Nick [Heidfeld] got a podium in the first race and now this was his time. He’s done a perfect drive today.” Cuquerella admitted that, while the result was a hugely positive moment, he, Kubica and the team are aiming for race wins before the end of the season. “We’re not looking for the championship purely, we’re looking for wins and this is giving the confidence. We have the speed and in some races we’re going to be performing quite strong. Robert now knows that he can fight with Ferrari and McLaren.” Kubica hails best finish JOHN Howett, President of Toyota Motorsport, has applauded Jarno Trulli’s run to fourth position in the Malaysian Grand Prix, but has insisted there is a lot of work to be done to turn the corner and make the team into race winners. “I’m delighted for the team, delighted for Jarno, and it’s particularly nice to see him holding off young Lewis – so, overall, a good result,” he told GPWeek. “Still, we have to realise we want to get on the middle step of the podium, so there’s still a lot of hard work.” Toyota has been one of the most consistent teams of the first two races, with both Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock featuring regularly in the top 10 in practice and qualifying. Trulli’s race pace compared to the McLarens in Malaysia will have given the team much to smile about, and Howett is confident Toyota will be able to raise its game to regularly compete with the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and BMW as the season progresses. “I think we know we’ve got a really good platform, and we’ve just got to work smarter and harder than the rest to get our performance on the car and close the gap to the top three teams in front. It’s always difficult in Formula One, but we’ve got a stable platform and we really understand why the car is quick, and that gives us a very good instinct as to what we have to improve.” Toyota: Still a lot of hard work