Petrov hopes for upgrade boost

Date published: August 24 2011

Vitaly Petrov hopes the upgrades that Renault have made to the R31 will give the team a big boost at the Belgian Grand Prix…

Vitaly Petrov hopes the upgrades that Renault have made to the R31 will give the team a big boost at the Belgian Grand Prix.

After starting the season with back-to-back podiums in Australia and Malaysia, Renault have fallen well off the pace and have slipped to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. They are 14 points behind fourth-placed Mercedes GP who are yet to make it to the podium this campaign.

The team though will head into this weekend’s race at Spa with a new floor, modified rear suspension, revised forward-facing exhausts as well as other aerodynamic updates.

Petrov, who is 10th in the Drivers’ standings with 32 points, is confident the team can turn their season around with a good result in Belgium.

“I hope our new upgrades will be working well and then we will see where we are in terms of performance, but I know Spa-Francorchamps very well,” he said.

“I had a strong race there last year. It’s one of the best and most challenging tracks you face as a driver because you have a number of different corners, ups and downs, and the weather can change at any given moment! One corner can be wet and on the other side of the track it could be dry.

“You never know what to expect in Spa, but I hope that we will be much more prepared and ready for this weekend. That is crucial in order to turn our season around, and I’m confident we can do just that.”

Petrov claimed a third-place finish in the season-opening Australian GP, but failed to replicate that success during the European races as the R31 struggled to match the pace of the midfield runners.
The Russian, though, feels the summer break gave them an opportunity fix their problems.

“The first half of the season was not as successful as we had hoped; we clearly lost some performance on the car as we reached the European races,” he said.

“The team needed some time to understand why we had the problems, and I think we’ve established that now. Our eyes are firmly fixed on the future and the races that lie in our wake. As we near the end of the season, the endurance of everyone involved will play a bigger and bigger role, and hopefully we will be one of the best-prepared teams in that regard.”