An unexpected late-race pit stop for a puncture looked set to scupper a decent result for Robert Kubica, but the Renault driver provided some of the highlights of the Singapore Grand Prix’s closing stages with a combative charge from thirteenth to seventh.
The Pole had been running in a strong sixth position before his unscheduled stop, and the result is some consolation for him, with passes on Jaime Alguersuari, Sébastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov, Felipe Massa, Nico Hülkenberg, and Adrian Sutil.
His move on Sutil was particularly daring, going around the outside of the German at Turn 7 where other runners – including the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld – had earlier come to grief.
“The last few laps were definitely the most exciting part of the race,” a thrilled Kubica was quoted afterwards. “The engineers spotted a right-rear puncture on the data – it must have been some debris that cut the tyre, because I didn’t touch the wall and couldn’t feel anything in the cockpit.
“That stop dropped me from sixth to 13th position. I had much fresher tyres than the cars in front in those last laps, but it’s still not easy to pass in Singapore, so it was good fun picking them off one by one. In the end, I got back to seventh place, which meant we only lost one position compared to our maximum this afternoon.
“Ultimately, if somebody had said that I would finish seventh today, and make one more pit stop than the cars around me, then I’d definitely have taken it.”