F1 can live without Ferrari says Kubica

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The Independent Online

Formula One will continue with or without Ferrari and the other car manufacturers, says BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica.

Champions Ferrari have threatened to quit Formula One after an unbroken 60-year involvement if the governing body goes ahead with plans for a budget cap next year.

"It is not a long time ago that most of the teams were not big manufacturers and car companies. The car companies were delivering engines but the teams were run by privateers," Kubica said in an interview.

"If there is no Ferrari or no other car manufacturers, everyone will forget about them very quickly," said the 24-year-old Krakow native, who has only ever driven for BMW since his debut in 2006.

Kubica has still to get a point from five races this season after challenging for the championship last year.

"Of course, the picture will change," he added. "I remember when (Ferrari's seven times champion) Michael (Schumacher) was retiring and everyone said Formula One will not be the same.

"And I think in a very short time, once the season started, nobody was thinking any more that out there there is no Michael, the races were still entertaining and very nice, so Formula One goes on."

Kubica was speaking before the teams met Max Mosley, head of the governing body, at the Monaco Grand Prix on Friday to try and reach a compromise on the 2010 regulations.

The Pole handed BMW-Sauber their first victory in Canada last season, and might have won this year's season-opener in Australia had he not collided with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel while chasing for second place.

Since then he has not come close to the points, let alone the podium. He has yet to finish in the top 10, with 11th in Spain this month his best placing.

With a characteristic deadpan delivery and wry smile, the Pole recognised that his start to what BMW had billed as a championship challenge was "not the ideal one".

"That's how it is," he said with a shrug. "I think we have to keep focusing and keep working, keep pushing for the future and keep thinking about the next tasks and not what happened.

"Of course we have to analyse and take the positive and negative moments and try to fix them and try to improve. We have to live with it.

"We were hoping to be able to fight for the championship this season, the beginning of the season showed us that for now it is very difficult, impossible. You cannot change it so you have to somehow be prepared for it."

Despite that, he refused to write off the season entirely: "I don't think it's the right approach to think about next season. While the ball is in the game, you have to keep trying to score," he said.

"Whatever I learn from this year will benefit me for the future...if we come back, we will be stronger and learn a lot out of this negative moment which we are having now."

Kubica, who suffered a fiery engine failure in Thursday practice, said the weekend ahead would be difficult with a car lacking in grip on the tight and twisty street circuit where last season he finished second.

"To be honest, I am not expecting ( a good result)," he said.

"Here in Monaco there are many factors which might go to your advantage or disadvantage. Normally I was always very strong on the street circuits so I am looking forward to that, but there are no miracles."