About 2 weeks ago I asked a question if Robert Kubica has become a serious title contender. It looks like the Montreal race gave us the answer. Kubica’s maiden F1 win has not only broken the 24 race McLaren/Ferrari Formula 1 race wins monopoly but also propelled him to the top of the championship standings after 7 races. Whoever can achieve that amongst the competition from Ferrari and McLaren drivers simply has to be taken seriously …
Current position: 1st
Points: 42 (4 ahead of 2nd and 3rd)
Results so far this season: DNF – 2 – 3 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 1
Although his season has began with DNF Kubica made his intentions quite clear right at the start. After a strong qualifying run in Melbourne he barely missed out on pole position at the Australian GP. The maiden pole position came in Bahrain, the maiden win in Canada. Seven races, six top four finishes, 4 podiums, one win, one pole position. This all in a car that at least for now still is only the 3rd best on the grid … The comparison with Alonso and Renault in their 2005 and 2006 title winning seasons comes to mind …
Here is what is working for him:
- Reliable BMW Sauber package – Kubica’s accident in Australia is the only BMW Sauber retirement so far this season (after race 7)
- He is quick
- Qualifying form – Kubica has so far this season outqualified his team mate Nick Heidfeld 7-0.
- Constitency – the 6 race run of top four finishes is impressive
- Unlike Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen he does not seem to be making any serious mistakes
- Support from the team – Unlike Massa and Raikkonen he is now de-facto number one in his team (even if BMW may not say so) and very likely will not have to fight his team mate for the rest of the season
- Inconsistent competition
What is working against him:
- The only but very important factor I can come up with is the BMW Sauber package. It is reliable and quick but still lags behind Ferrari and McLaren in performance. The title may not necessarily be in his own hands. Kubica would need some “assistance” from Ferrari and McLaren if he is to keep his championship lead.
So, can he do it ?