Nelson Piquet Jr insists that Valencia's European Grand Prix should not be taken as an accurate barometer of Renault's current performance level, having vowed to be back in the hunt for points at this weekend's race in Belgium.
The Brazilian, whose place in the Renault line-up has not been confirmed for 2009, had scored in three of the four rounds leading up to Valencia, but struggled to a disappointing eleventh on the streets of the Spanish city as the regie
struggled to keep pace with its rivals in the battle for fourth place in the constructors' championship.
He is quick to point to a broken front wing for denying the chance to show his true form, however, and reckons that Spa-Francorchamps - and Monza, which follows in just over a week's time - will give him the chance to redress the balance.
"I think that Valencia did not reflect our true performance," Piquet insisted, "I knew after qualifying that scoring points would not be easy and that I would have to rely on incidents in the race to move up but, in the end, it was quite a straightforward race. The fact that my front wing was broken didn't help, so it's a race to put behind us. I am now concentrating on the Belgian Grand Prix and the other races ahead of us.
"As we have shown in the last few races, we are capable of scoring points and this is what we must keep in mind so that we can remain focused as we approach this race. My objective will be to reach Q3 in qualifying and hope for a good start in the race to try and finish in the points."
Having raced there in both F3 and GP2, winning in the latter in 2005, Piquet unsurprisingly ranks Spa among his favourite circuits and is looking forward to returning for the first time as an F1 driver.
"Along with Monaco, [Spa and Monza] are unique and have earned their place in the history of Formula One," he commented, "I'm looking forward to these races, especially as Spa is one of the circuits that I enjoy above all - it's probably my favourite of the championship, along with Silverstone.
"It's an undulating circuit, and very long, and there are lots of fast corners, as well as one of the slowest of the championship.In terms of driving, so it's a demanding place. I will have to do lots of work with my engineers so that we can adapt the car as much as possible to the requirements. In terms of the feeling from inside the cockpit, it feels amazing - there is nothing like it anywhere else - and I think that's why most of the drivers really enjoy it there."
Despite the uncertainty surrounding team-mate Fernando Alonso's plans for 2009, Piquet's place in the squad remains a question mark, with GP2 chargers Romain Grosjean and, more impressively, Lucas di Grassi both pressing for inclusion in the regie
's plans. Director of engineering Pat Symonds, however, insists that he expects Piquet to be back on form this weekend, with next season taking care of itself.
"Although drivers can have favourite tracks, it shouldn't really affect their ability to perform and we've already seen that Nelson can be strong at any type of track," he claimed, "However, racing at a track you enjoy is the sort of thing that helps you raise your game a little bit. Nelson will be strong and he's looking forward to it."