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GP Week : Issue 32
Is Robert Kubica The Championship sneak? As main title rivals make mistakes, Kubica gets points ... ROBERT Kubica’s solid drive to second place at the Japanese Grand Prix has kept the Pole in with a shout at the Formula 1 World Championship. With two races to go the BMW driver finds himself seven points behind second-placed Felipe Massa, with Lewis Hamilton just 12 points ahead and remains confident that anything could happen. “I think you at least have to try – there is nothing to lose; as Kimi [Raikkonen] says, everything is possible. I think Kimi showed last year that anything is possible. The difference is that I have two guys in front of me, not one and at normal pace it’s no secret that we are not as fast as Massa and Hamilton, so life is a bit more difficult but everything can still happen.” Kubica had come under intense pressure from Kimi Raikkonen for long periods of the race, but despite appearing to have the slightly inferior car drove superbly to take almost maximum advantage of his rivals’ misfortune. “From my point of view it was not so easy but I knew that it was only possible for him to overtake me under braking into the first corner. I was trying to exit the last corner as fast as possible to get as much speed as possible but of course with the tow he was catching me. I had quite a lot of problems with graining. I was hoping the graining phase would soon finish, so I was also trying to clean the front tyres with quite aggressive driving into the hairpin, just to try to pull out of this graining phase. For four or five laps it was very difficult and then I was able to pull away and that was that.” Ironically, Kubica had made comment earlier in the week that rival Hamilton’s driving was too aggressive, and it was largely thanks to the overly aggressive start of the McLaren driver that Kubica was able to jump into the lead of the race for the opening segment. With Hamilton spinning after contact with Massa and then receiving a drive through penalty, Kubica’s eight point haul sees him move to within striking distance of the championship leader. 26