Renault believes it can deliver another podium-finishing performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix, after Vitaly Petrov's encouraging result in Australia.
Following a difficult winter when Robert Kubica was injured in a rally crash, Renault was given a major morale boost as Petrov delivered the maiden podium finish of his career at Albert Park. With that result having been achieved with good pace rather than faster rivals hitting trouble, Renault team principal Eric Boullier sees reason for his team to set its sights on a repeat performance at the next race.
"I am starting to be confident that we will be repeating the same," said Boullier. "In Malaysia, we have an upgrade for the car."
When asked if he believed that the upgrade would be enough to lift it ahead of Ferrari on pace, Boullier said: "I think we are not far to be already better..."
Renault's strong start to the season has been helped by its innovative exhaust system, with the team opting for a radical forward facing system that sees the exhausts exit at the front of the sidepods. Boullier praised technical director James Allison for having belief in the system – and recalled how the pair had discussed the idea in his office last year.
"James convinced me," explained Boullier. "We had to decide at one stage, do we stick in a conservative way or do we go in a new concept?
"I don't want to take the credit, because it was James and myself in an office. And after talking, I said I would back him up. He was convinced and so was I. It was a dual decision."