Nick Heidfeld believes his Renault team has yet to show its full potential as it eyes a good recovery from its disappointing Shanghai performance in next week's Turkish Grand Prix.
After podium finishes in Australia and Malaysia, neither Heidfeld nor his teammate Vitaly Petrov were able to make an impact in China after problems in qualifying. But with the R31 having shown good pace already this year, Heidfeld is optimistic that the team knows what it must do to deliver at its best.
"It's been a bit up and down," said Heidfeld about Renault's early season form. "On the positive side, the car is very innovative and it is quick. It is also responding well to setup changes, it has got a good straightline speed and has already proved to be competitive on different track layouts.
"We've already achieved two podiums from three races, which is a real plus. But on the other side, we haven't yet fulfilled our potential and I hope both we, as a team, and I can improve on that. The first three races gave us a good picture of our strengths and weaknesses, and with the break we've just had we've been able to analyze where we can improve further."
Renault plans to bring a host of updates to its car for next week's Turkish Grand Prix, including a new front wing, nose developments, air intake revisions and floor tweaks.
Heidfeld added: "I think we've shown over the first three races that we have a good car and Istanbul could be very interesting because it is the first European race and a lot of teams will bring updates, including us. Hopefully we'll be able to give a good performance again."
His optimism is shared by Petrov, who says he has seen nothing but a big effort from his team to deliver what is needed to make the next step forward.
"We're expecting upgrades for Turkey which is good and, of course, the other teams will react too and work hard to beat us," he said. "We'll be doubling our efforts in order to catch the teams in front. You never know what can happen during a race weekend but both my team and I will fight hard."
Team boss Eric Boullier said he was equally confident that his drivers would also do their best, with both having stood on the podium so far this year.
"I think that they can do even better," he said. "During the last three races, they were still getting to know the car and they showed good pace and results. I'm pretty sure that they now have the near-to-victory taste in their mouths so they need to keep on pushing. I know the team is absolutely 100 percent behind both of them to help pushing them to deliver."