Nelson Piquet Jr has admitted that he will be putting memories of his maiden F1 podium, which he secured in the German Grand Prix, out of his head as he prepares for this weekend's Hungarian race.

The Brazilian is the first to admit that he was somewhat fortunate to be in a position to both lead the Hockenheim round and then finish second to Lewis Hamilton, and acknowledges that it will be back to the business of trying to keep Renault at the front of the tight midfield battle when the F1 circus ships up in Budapest.

"Standing on the podium and seeing all the team so happy felt great and it's a big boost for all of us," he recalled, having had his one and only pit-stop coincide nicely with the safety car period called for Timo Glock's accident, "I know that I was a bit lucky, but you have to take the luck when it comes your way and, towards the end of the race, we were strong enough to hold on for second place.

"Finishing on the podium was obviously an amazing result for the team. After a disappointing position in qualifying, I thought that was the end of my weekend as I knew it would be difficult to score points, but we didn't give up and the team chose to do something different with the strategy by only stopping once to see if we could take
advantage of anything. That proved to be a great decision as I made my only pit-stop just as the safety car came out. That meant that we were on the ideal strategy and able to finish on the podium.

"The car was handling really well, even though we were on the soft tyres, and I was able to push hard and stay consistent. To get a podium is a great reward for the whole team, especially after some of the problems we have had this year, and I'm delighted to get this result in my rookie season.

"Obviously, I hope this is just the beginning, but I think it will be difficult to fight for another podium under usual circumstances because the gap to the leading cars is still too big."

Unless Lady Luck shines its way again this weekend, Renault fully expects to be battling for the small points with the likes of Williams, Toyota, Red Bull and the improving Toro Rosso.

"I think that the battle in the midfield will be very competitive, just as it was in Germany, and I will need to concentrate on getting a good grid position because it is so difficult to overtake in Hungary," the Brazilian reasoned, "If we can reach Q3, then I think it is a realistic goal to fight for some points on Sunday - and, if we can do that, I will be very happy."

Engineering director Pat Symonds echoed Piquet's words, but added an optimistic slant after seeing the R28 improve in recent races.

"We have to be realistic, there's still a tough fight ahead of us, and Toyota and Red Bull Racing are still very competitive, so we need to continue working hard," he acknowledged, "But we have grabbed a bag full of points, and the performance of the car should allow us to fight for fourth position in the championship.

"So far this season, we seem to have been talking about unfulfilled promise with the car and, although luck played a part in this result, we certainly feel that it makes up for some of the times in the last few races where the luck hasn't gone our way. It's great for Nelson as he's had a tough time in the first half of the year, and I certainly hope that this is a turning point for him."

Buoyed by his German result, Piquet is looking forward to making his Formula One debut at the Hungaroring, having enjoyed success there on his way up the ladder.

"My GP2 weekend in 2006 was very special because I won the feature race on the Saturday from pole position and then the sprint race on the Sunday [from eighth on the grid], as well as setting the fastest lap in both races," he reflected, "It was definitely one of my best weekends in racing.

"It's quite a rewarding track to drive if you can find a good rhythm and it seems to suit my driving style. Obviously, I haven't driven there in a Formula One car yet, but I'm looking forward to doing that this weekend."

Symonds is hopeful that the Hockenheim result, while unlikely to be repeated without exceptional circumstances over the rest of the season, will boost Piquet's confidence enough to make him a regular threat for points as Renault attempts to wrest fourth place in the constructors' championship.

"Very often, when a driver has had a difficult start to their career, they get a good result and, after that, nothing seems to stop them," he explained, "I've seen it happen so many times before and, hopefully, it will be the same for Nelson because we know he has the ability and we know how quick he is. It's fair to say that he has found the pressure quite difficult this year, but the result in Hockenheim is the perfect response from him.

"Indeed, I think it has given everybody a boost because, no matter how strong you are as a team, it's always nice to have the reinforcement of a good result. But I think the team is also being quite analytical because we accept that the car needed luck to get a second place, and we know that, realistically, our challenge is to fight BMW, and that's what we must aim to do."