Vitaly Petrov says his position is not under threat despite the presence of Bruno Senna at the Lotus Renault GP team.
Senna has replaced Nick Heidfeld from the Belgian Grand Prix, and the Brazilian is aiming to secure a deal to race with the team next year, too. One seat is expected to go to Robert Kubica if the Pole manages to make a comeback following his accident. Despite that and Senna's target, Petrov is adamant his contract guarantees him a seat in 2012.
"My contract is safe for next year," said Petrov. "I think if he beat me it would be all good, but to me it doesn't matter. I'll just drive like normal and we'll see."
Petrov, who turned 27 today, says nothing has changed at Renault following Heidfeld's exit.
"I think that everything is fine at the moment. I think we don't miss anything. Last year when we had Robert here it was more important but now I understand everything we need to do. Like you saw last week in qualifying, there were some problems but we had a good race apart from the problem with the failed brake. I didn't change anything."
The Russian says Renault has not been happy with its performance during the middle part of the season, and reckons the construction of a wind tunnel has hurt its chances.
"I think we've already stopped (development). We lost it at the start of the middle of the season because of the construction of our wind tunnel, which is why we lost the performance from the start of the season," he said. "Nobody is happy, because we want to be the best and we want to fight with Mercedes, and if you look back at the beginning of the season Mercedes was nowhere compared to us – but then we started to lose our performance and Mercedes grew up.
"The last three or four races were very difficult to get into the top 10, so this is why the team is very disappointed. When the team is happy it brings better results."