Vitaly Petrov says he is keen to repay Renault for the faith it has shown in him during the 2011 F1 season.
Despite rumours about his future, Petrov signed a new two-year deal with the team to cover the 2011 and 2012 seasons and heads into the new campaign keen to try and repeat the performance he showed in the Abu Dhabi season finale, where he was able to keep Fernando Alonso at bay for much of the race.
“Everybody knows that 2010 was not that easy for me, but after a year in Formula 1 I feel more confident and ready to face the challenge of 2011,” he said. “I know what I need to change, where I can improve and I'm determined to do well and fight hard for this team.
“I'm really proud to be here and I hope together we can achieve some great things. The team has shown a lot of faith in me and it's my chance to show everybody that they were right to believe in me.”
The Russian insisted that pre-season testing was going to be more of a challenge than normal because of the changing regulations for the year ahead and admitted it was difficult to make too many predictions about the year ahead until the teams arrive in Bahrain for the start of the campaign.
“I think it's [the changes] are good for Formula 1 and I know that the team has been working for a long time to make sure we get the most from the new technology on the car,” he said. “For me it will be more things to learn and adapt to because I've never used KERS before and the adjustable rear wing is new for everyone. But I think the biggest challenge is getting used to the new tyres and a big part of winter testing will be trying to understand them. I think this is the biggest task facing the team.
“Even when you start testing, it's difficult to know who is really the strongest and how you compare. It's only when we get to the first race in Bahrain that we will find out who has done the best job over the winter. So it's difficult for me to set objectives until we know the facts.”