F1 2010 rookie Vitaly Petrov has said his goal will be to get closer and closer to the top-ten this season, beginning this weekend in Australia, venue for round two on the schedule.

Petrov made his debut at the pinnacle of the sport two weeks ago in Bahrain, and while he failed to finish and only completed around 13 laps, the 2009 GP2 Series runner-up wasn't too disheartened.

Indeed quite the contrary and now the Renault man is looking forward to competing at Albert Park.

"The most important thing this coming weekend is to learn the track and understand how it flows. I need to get out there and feel the tarmac, see the kerbs, walk a lap to have the right feeling for what I need to do. Then I will do the best job I can and we'll see what happens," Petrov noted.

"Last time out in Bahrain, apart from the final result, I was very pleased and it was all pretty straightforward. I made one mistake in qualifying, which meant I didn't start as high up the grid as I could have done, but I made up for that at the start by climbing up to P11.

"I was not worried before the race, but I felt much better after doing my first start, making up places on the opening lap and really fighting with the cars around me.

"My goal now has to be to get closer and closer to the top ten without making any more mistakes.

"The team helped me a lot over the Bahrain weekend, and we did a good job with the engineers and mechanics to find the right set-up. The car felt fantastic on the Sunday and that makes me very positive for the next races."

As for what the reaction has been since he made history by becoming the first Russian to start an F1 race, Petrov revealed that the level of support from his fellow countrymen has been 'fantastic'.

"F1 is still something new for my country, so people are learning about it all the time and discovering all the different aspects of the sport. There has been a lot of excitement, and many messages of support, so I have to say a big thank you to all the fans over there.

"When I get in the car, though, I am focused on the job. It's a great boost to have my people behind me, but it doesn't feel like extra pressure on my shoulders," he summed-up.


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