Beating George Russell for the first time this season, Robert Kubica says his French GP was “less painful” than expected.
The Polish driver started Sunday’s 53-lap grand prix from 18th on the grid, his highest start position in his comeback season.
The good news continued on Sunday as he finally, for the first time in eight races, beat his team-mate Russell to the chequered flag.
The duo, though, were once again last of the classified runners, both two laps down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.
“The tyres lasted better than expected so it was less painful as they behaved very well,” Kubica said of his Sunday afternoon at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
“My first lap was good, I made some correct decisions without risking too much.
“The rest of the race was alright, I struggled with the rear tyres in certain moments of the race, but I kept them under control, so it was OK.
“The battle with George was good experience for when the car gets quicker, which will hopefully pay off in the future.”
As for Russell, he took out a marker board during that battle with Kubica which meant he was forced into making an extra pit stop for a new front wing on Sunday.
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“With my first attempt to overtake Robert around the outside, I ran wide and hit the polystyrene board,” he explained.
“We thought that wasn’t too much of an issue but then we found that damage to the front wing worsened. For safety reasons we decided on the change.
“The pace seems strong, but it was an expected day. We need to be patient, learn as much as we can and then hopefully in a number of races time start the battle.
“Overall, not satisfied, not disappointed just normal.”