• Japanese Grand Prix

Renault drivers target return to points

ESPNF1 Staff
October 6, 2011 « I can offer more than Raikkonen - Barrichello | Continuity helps McLaren - Button »
Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna are aiming high in Suzuka © Sutton Images
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Renault drivers Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov are sure they will not experience repeats of their Singapore Grand Prix performances at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Renault struggled to its worse result of the year at the night race two weeks ago, with Senna finishing 15th and Petrov 17th. Technical director James Allsion admitted the unique forward-exiting exhaust system on the R31 had made it difficult to find a setup and that the car lacked traction out of the slow-speed corners.

But the high-speed Suzuka circuit is a different prospect altogether and Senna is aiming to get back in the points on Sunday.

"I think we'll be back where we were in Spa and Monza, it's the type of track where there are not many traction events," he said. "It should be interesting to see what the car can do in the high-speed sections and hopefully we will be in the top ten."

Petrov was a little more cautious with his predictions as Suzuka is notoriously hard on tyre wear and the Pirellis have struggled at some venues this year.

"It's difficult to say [how we will fare] and every circuit is always different because we have Pirelli tyres and we don't know how they will survive here or how big the degradation will be," he said. "But anyway, if you look in the past our car has been very strong in the high-speed corners and that's what we have here. So I hope and cross my fingers that we will be quick here."

And Petrov is heading into his second race at Suzuka with plenty of respect for the circuit.

"This is a proper circuit, it's not a street circuit and it's not a dirty circuit like it was in Singapore," he added. "It's not as bumpy as Singapore and of course it's different. But I think if you go off on any corner here it is unlikely that your car will survive. The track is very narrow, the walls are very close so you need to drive on the limit but be very careful."