Renault boss Eric Boullier thinks that his team can set its sights on pushing even harder in the races now, after Robert Kubica's breakthrough podium finish in the Australian Grand Prix.
Kubica delivered a brilliant performance at Albert Park to hold off race-long pressure from Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa and grab his first podium for his new team. With the team now understanding exactly how quick its car is, and getting a better grip on tire strategies, Boullier thinks Renault can lift its performance up a gear in future races.
"Obviously, we knew already that our car has good race pace, and is a consistent one, but it was a question mark about tire degradation," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "Now we know, so we can push on with a little bit more."
Boullier believes that the podium finish, which comes after a troubled spell for Renault after the Singapore GP crash scandal and a winter of uncertainty about its future, will help spur team personnel on even more.
"We know our car has the pace to be at least just behind the big top four, so obviously any mess up front we can take the opportunity to score points," he said. "Obviously, I am very, very happy with the team at Enstone and Viry-Chatillon, because they did an awesome job during the winter, and it is good to have some points and podiums. The target is done, but it helps morale to be even better."
Reflecting on the importance of the victory after the troubled winter, Boullier said, "Of course it was difficult, because they are race people. When you don't have results, you are just flat. On top of all of this we had the change of control of the company. So, as we have been saying for three months, I wanted this team to be heads down, working and to do what we know is the best – racing. So to be on the podium is great for them."