Robert Kubica vowed to keep his feet on the ground despite his surprise second-place finish for Renault in Australia. The Polish driver made a strong start from ninth and was fourth out of the first corner on the damp track. He moved up to second when the field all pitted for slick tyres, and although he was passed by the eventual winner Jenson Button in his McLaren-Mercedes, he was able to hold off the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso and move back to second when Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull-Renault spun out of the race.
"To be honest we were not expecting to finish on the podium, and for Renault and myself it is a special result," said Kubica, who was in only his second race with the French team after joining in the winter from BMW. "We were pushing hard during the winter and this was the best result we could get for the beginning of the season. "We have to stay realistic, we are not up to pace to finish on the podium normally. We need to keep pushing and I am sure we will manage sooner or later to be on the pace."
Massa was equally pleased with his day, as his third place saw him become the only driver on the grid to finish on the podium in the first two races of the season. The Brazilian was not at his best in the slippery conditions, but still did enough to achieve his best result in Melbourne. "My best result in Australia before was sixth, and in 2007 I had problems in qualifying and started last," he said.
"It's not the best race for me in terms of pace, and we lost some positions at the pitstop and a bit on track because of mistakes, so it is fantastic to have one second and one third. "We know how important this is for the championship and in the past I have not scored as many points as I have now. The team did a fantastic job today and I'm happy to finish third in a difficult race like this." His teammate Alonso was equally pleased with his day's endeavours after recovering from being last after the first corner to finish fourth.
He had been spun around after touching the McLaren of Button, but drove a storming race from there on to move back through the field. "Being last at the first corner, and then the reward at the end of the race has been much better than I expected," he said. The result was good enough to retain the championship lead for the Spaniard, and the double world champion was happy with a day that had seen him take 12 points out of anticipated title rivals Sebastian Vettel and 11 out of Michael Schumacher.
He added: "It has been a much better race in terms of points than Bahrain, if you compare with your main competitor."