Robert Kubica says it is too early to judge how competitive Renault will be in 2011, although the Pole feels the team is better prepared than last year.
The team was one of the positive surprises of 2010, with Kubica fighting near the top in several races and achieving three podium finished on his way to eighth place in the championship. Although team bosses said they goal is to start winning races again, Kubica is refusing to get carried away.
"I think, realistically, speaking it is far too early to say what will be possible to achieve this year," Kubica told reporters during the launch of the R31. "Last season was quite disappointing and let's hope this year will be different. I think definitely we are more prepared this year, because of the more stable situation in the team than last winter, when I joined the team.
"The winter of 2009 and 2010 was very difficult for Renault, and I think this year the engineers and designers had a much easier time and much more time to design the car and I think they have done a really good job.
"But you never know what your main competitors did, so if they have done a better job than us then it will be difficult to achieve something more. But from my side I will try to deliver and extract the maximum from the package and deliver good driving and hope for good results."
Kubica admitted his past experiences have taught him that he cannot be too positive – or negative – until the racing begins.
"I think if you blow too much air into a balloon, the balloon can explode very easily," he said. "It's too early. I learned from the past years that in January you can expect everything. In 2008, it's the best example, with BMW.
"We were hoping for podiums and victories and we put the car on track and we finished the Valencia test with more than two seconds to the front. Then we went to Australia for the first race and we were on the first row. It can change very quickly."
The Pole also played down the significance of the Lotus brand reappearing in his team's name.
"I think Lotus is our sponsor. At least, from what I know it is a sponsor," he said when asked if he dreamed to drive for Lotus. "So I could also say it is my dream to drive for Total! I think it would be different if Lotus owned the team and were fully involved into the team. It's a good partner to have and they have high ambitions. It looks promising."