F1 » 27 July 2011
Q&A - Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renault GP
Vitaly Petrov gets ready for the Hungarian Grand in Budapest
How was the German GP for you?
Well, I scored another point but we should be finishing much higher up the points. We've said that time and again, but we brought good developments to the car last weekend, perhaps lacked a bit of luck and didn't capitalise on our opportunities. What's noticeable is there are other teams beginning to compete seriously with us, such as Force India and Sauber, so we need to take the initiative and make a significant step forward to stay ahead of these guys. We should be fighting for fourth spot in the Constructors' Championship, and for that to happen we need to improve on our result in Germany. If you look specifically at the race, I probably didn't pit early enough in order to fight with the group in front, and that lost me a few places so it was always going to be hard to be higher up the points.
Has the team started moving in the right direction since Silverstone, though?
Yes, it was good that the exhaust situation that was causing a lot of discussion at Silverstone was resolved, but that alone is not enough to get us back where we should be. We need to be fighting with the teams in front because we are a top team. We brought some upgrades with us to Germany and there's no doubt they helped, but we're going to keep pushing forward to ensure we're back where we should be.
Looking ahead to Hungary, where there are swathes of Russian fans, how do you like racing there?
It's a great circuit and I've got good memories from my time there in GP2. I won my first race in Budapest, so it's always great to come back. The atmosphere is great with a lot of fans watching so I'm always happy to go back. And yes, there are lots of Russians in Budapest too, so I will be doing everything I can to give my team and them a good result.
What are your thoughts on the Hungaroring circuit?
It's quite technical and you need the right setup to be successful there. There are just two high speed corners but the rest is more technical. Car set-up is very important in Budapest.
How can you summarise the first half of the season?
Well, we all remember that it started well. Then we had a significant drop a few races into the season and consequently lost a lot of points. We've had some challenges with our aero packages so we will be analysing that in the August break among other things. I remain confident our season will take an upturn in the second half of the year, that's what we're all pushing for.
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