Virgin Racing technical director Nick Wirth believes that the team must still target finishing 10th in the Constructors' Championship this season.
Virgin is currently 12th in the championship behind fellow new teams Lotus and HRT with a best race finish of 14th, achieved by Lucas di Grassi in the Malaysian Grand Prix. With points awarded only to the top 10 finishers, non-point scoring teams are ranked according to best finish, giving Lotus the initiative courtesy of Heikki Kovalainen's 13th place in Australia.
HRT is also ahead of Virgin because Karun Chandhok has two 14th places to his name.
"We need that 12th place because our competitors were able to take advantage of circumstances earlier in the season and get some results," Wirth told AUTOSPORT. "We must keep putting performance on the car so that if such an opportunity occurs again we are able to take advantage of it. We'll keep pushing to the end and see what happens."
Wirth believes that Virgin requires a race of attrition to claim such a strong result and does not believe that the car has enough downforce to climb the order in a rain-hit event.
"It would be way too optimistic of us to assume that we will do that just because of a wet track, despite the massive talents of both of our drivers and particularly Timo Glock's experience."
Wirth added that the team's performance in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Timo Glock qualified as the best of the new teams, suggests that Virgin now has the pace to be the best of the new teams on track.
Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne has said that his team's focus is now on the design of its 2011 car, potentially giving Virgin, which is still developing its car, the chance to pull ahead in the new team battle.
"The Hungaroring type of track, with low-speed corners, hasn't traditionally favored us compared to Lotus, so our performance there shows the underlying progress that we've made," said Wirth. "We switched our focus to development [as opposed to reliability troubleshooting] in the second half of this year and we've got to keep the learning curve going.
"We'll see whether Lotus stops developing. We've got our plan, and every team up and down the pit lane is working hard. I'm sure that in light of the wing controversy that's going around at the moment, people are going to have to re-evaluate what they are doing on their cars for the second half of next year and indeed next year's car."
THE BATTLE FOR 10th
10. Lotus (Best results - 13th, 14th, 14th)
11. HRT (Best results - 14th, 14th, 15th)
12. Virgin (Best results - 14th, 16th, 17th)