Vitaly Petrov has a challenge on his hands. The objectives are simple, focusing primarily on performance during a 15-minute window on Saturday afternoon.
Achieving them is more difficult, but despite some taking Renault team principal Eric Boullier's recent comments about the Russian needing to emerge as a regular points scorer as being tantamount to a statement of his certain axing, Petrov is still a contender for a 2011 drive. As Boullier puts it "his future is in his hands" and despite patchy results on paper there have been signs of the speed needed to make good.
The numbers that matter don't look great for Petrov. After 10 races, he has just six points compared to team-mate Robert Kubica's 83, which is an unimpressive 7.23 per cent of his team-mate's total. To put that into context, during his season-and-a-half at Renault in 2008/2009, Nelson Piquet returned just over 25 per cent of Fernando Alonso's points (although it should be noted that eight of his points came for a fluke second place at Hockenheim in 2008). Petrov has been outqualified by Kubica every race and has only twice made it into Q3. The question is, are those figures a fair reflection of Petrov's performance in 2010? Almost certainly not.