Robert Kubica admits that the end of the 2010 F1 season won't be easy for Renault as the team seeks to get ahead of Mercedes in the race for fourth in the championship standings.
Mercedes has outscored its rivals in recent races to establish a 35 point buffer going into the final four races, while Kubica is also fighting Mercedes' Nico Rosberg for seventh in the constructors championship – with the pair split by just eight points going into the weekend.
Kubica finished seventh in Singapore last time but he admitted that his result in Japan – and in the races that follow – could largely be dictated by the development carried out by rival teams.
“Of course, we will try our best, but I don't think the end of the season will necessarily be the easiest one for us,” he said. “We do not have big new developments coming, so it will depend a lot on how much development other people bring to the car.
“This will have a big influence on where we end up and how good our end to the season will be.”
Team-mate Vitaly Petrov heads to Japan looking to break back into the points having failed to score for the second successive race in Singapore – the Russian being on the back after crashing into the barriers during Q2.
With increasing rumours about his future (See separate story HERE
, Petrov makes his maiden appearance in Japan aware that he has work to do to show Renault he deserves a second season alongside Kubica.
“I hope the car will be good there, but the start of the lap looks very quick and challenging with lots of changes of direction,” he said If you get one corner wrong, you really suffer in the other corners. I think it's also important we make sure the f-duct works well there because a lot of the lap is full throttle and the straights are quite long.
“The recent races have not been easy for me, and I think it's down to my lack of experience and some bad luck. I'm working hard and improving, especially with my feedback and understanding the car, but this has not been translated into the results. Now I need to show the team what I can do in the final races and show that I deserve to stay here next year.”