Vitaly Petrov says he is confident that Renault will enjoy an upturn in fortunes through the second half of the F1 season as the Russian prepares for the final race before the summer break this weekend in Hungary.
Petrov secured a points finish in the German Grand Prix last weekend but was left far from happy with the result as he came home behind the Force India of Adrian Sutil and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.
However, despite that disappointment, Petrov has backed his team to fight back through the second half of the year, with team boss Eric Boullier having already called on the Enstone-based squad to improve 'quickly' to try and get back ahead of Mercedes in the title race [See separate story HERE
“Well, I scored another point but we should be finishing much higher up the points,” Petrov said as he reflected on the Nurburgring race. “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. We've had some challenges with our aero packages [this season] 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.”
Petrov's first chance to fight back comes this weekend in Budapest at a circuit where it is commonplace to see a large contingent of Russian fans, and the GP2 graduate said he was looking forward to the race weekend.
“It's quite technical and you need the right setup to be successful there,” he said. “There are just two high speed corners but the rest is more technical. Car set-up is very important in Budapest.
“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.”