Vitaly Petrov has admitted that he will have to do better in the second half of the year if Renault is to succeed in beating Mercedes to fourth spot in the F1 2010 Constructors' Championship.
Petrov, who is making his debut at the pinnacle of the sport this season, has only scored points once thus far, when he was seventh at the Chinese Grand Prix, way back in April.
Although the Russian has finished every race since then and has been unlucky on occasions, such as in Turkey, when he was on course to take points until he got a puncture late on after the duel with Fernando Alonso, the reality is the Regie
still badly need him to step up, as otherwise it is all down to Robert Kubica.
“It's difficult to sum up my feelings because so much has happened to me in the last six months,” Petrov replied, when asked about the season so far. “I'm still learning about F1 and I feel that I'm improving at each race and working better with the team and my engineers.
“I've seen just how competitive F1 is and it still amazes me to see how much effort goes on by the team to improve the car at each race. For the rest of the season I know that I must work hard with Robert if we are to beat Mercedes before the end of the year, and this is our clear objective.”
Petrov will get his first chance to take that second points finish this weekend and he at least knows Silverstone - or most of the track anyway - from his days in F1's main feeder category, GP2.
“Until we get there and drive the lap it's difficult to know what the new [Arena] section will be like in an F1 car,” he continued. “My feeling is that it will just make the lap a bit longer because the main characteristics of the track have not changed.
“It was always difficult to overtake at the old Silverstone because of the quick corners and I think that will still be the case this year. There are some extra straights, but I don't know if they are long enough to allow overtaking.
“The first thing we will need to do is to see how our upgrades work there because it's a very different circuit to Valencia and much more high-speed. And because it's difficult to overtake, I know how important it will be to get the maximum from the car in qualifying. So I must try and avoid any mistakes over the weekend and aim to qualify inside the top ten so that we can get the most from the race. “It's a local race for the Enstone factory so it would be extra special to get a good result for the team.”