Date: 5th April 2011 at 10:26am
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Renault’s Vitaly Petrov enjoyed a good outing at Melbourne during Formula One’s 2011 season opener.

He became the first ever Russian driver to finish on a Formula 1 podium, when he brought his Renault home third, behind Vettel and Hamilton.

He outshone team-mate Nick Heidfeld and took home the prestigious VitalF1.com – Driver of the Day award.

Petrov now wants to prove it wasn’t just a one off and he believes Renault are capable of pushing the top two of Red Bull and McLaren.

?We now have a better idea of where we stand compared to our competitors, but I think we need to wait a few more races to see the real picture.’ Vitaly Petrov told formula1.com ahead of the Malaysia Grand Prix.

‘We know that Red Bull and McLaren are very strong, too, but hopefully we can keep pushing them hard.’

Looking ahead to Sepang, many of the teams focus will be on the Pirelli tyres.

Due to the cancellation of the scheduled test session in Bahrain, Pirelli have yet to test their new tyre compounds in the heat expected for Malaysia.

Due to the higher temperatures, many expect the tyres to suffer increased degradation, with three or four stops predicted for the race.

‘The big question will be on the tyres because we have not really run in high temperatures. I know we have some more aero parts coming for Sepang which will help. I like the track, but it?s difficult because there are lots of different corners and finding the ideal set-up isn?t easy. You need a car that works everywhere: in the fast corners, in the slow corners, and you also need to be good on the brakes. I think it?s one of the more difficult tracks because of the mix of corners – both high and low speed. But it?s somewhere I?ve always enjoyed racing and you always have to be ready for the weather.?

Can Vitaly Petrov surprise everyone again in Malaysia? Let us know what you think by registering with VitalF1.com

 

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