Petrov to remain at Renault in 2011 and 2012

2011 F1 season

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Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 2010

Vitaly Petrov has extended his contract to race with Renault for another two seasons.

The Russian driver confirmed the deal in a press conference in Moscow today. He said:

I am very happy to continue with the team and proud to be representing Lotus Renault GP for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

I learned a lot about the sport, the circuits and the car this year. That will help me improve even more in the future. I am very excited about working with this great team once more, and I’m confident that I will deliver.

In many ways, 2010 was about learning. 2011 will be about performing. Today, I feel I am ready to rise to this challenge.
Vitaly Petrov

The news means Renault have both Robert Kubica and Petrov signed until the end of 2012.

Team chairman Gerard Lopez said:

We’re delighted to have Vitaly on board for another two years. Last season, he showed on several occasions that he clearly has the potential to deliver. It was just a matter of putting everything together during the same weekend, race after race, and this will be his target for 2011.

Also, thanks to Vitaly and the team, Russia is opening up to Formula 1. Over the past few months, we’ve established close links with this country and with some of its strongest companies. We’re looking forward to building on this special relationship and turning it into a very successful adventure over the next two seasons.
Gerard Lopez

Team principal Eric Boullier added:

We are very pleased to confirm that Vitaly will be staying with us for 2011 and 2012, in order that both he and the team can build on a promising 2010 campaign.

The entire team has been working flat out over the past months to improve our competitiveness, and a stable driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets. Robert Kubica provides a remarkable benchmark for both speed and consistency, and we are certain that Vitaly will move closer to this level of performance next year.
Eric Boullier

Renault issued the following Q&A with Petrov:

Vitaly, how does it feel to be confirmed at Lotus Renault GP?
It feels great. I learned so much this year and I know that I can come back stronger in 2011. I’m extremely proud to be part of this team and I’m determined to repay the faith they have shown in me.

Looking back on your rookie season, what did you enjoy the most?
There were a lot of special moments. The race in Shanghai is something that I will always remember when I overtook Schumacher and Webber to score my first points. Then, the first time I made Q3 in Turkey was an important step for me. And, of course, the race in Hungary was probably my best weekend when everything came together for me.

How has your life change since you became an F1 driver?
There’s a lot more travelling and not a lot of time for myself, but I will never complain because I love what I’m doing. I still feel like a boy at Christmas every time I get in the car. Life is not as easy as people think, of course, and there’s a lot more to F1 than driving the car, but it’s an amazing experience and I know I’m lucky to be one of just 24 drivers on the grid.

Do you feel at home at Lotus Renault GP?
Yes, definitely. Previous drivers have always said that there is a special atmosphere here and I have to say I agree with them. The team is very warm, friendly and open, and I get on really well with the guys.

Can you feel the growing support for F1 from Russia?
Definitely. I get more support from my country every week. In fact, recently one of the major lifestyle magazines included me in their top ten most attractive single men of Russia! You can feel that the sport is becoming more popular and soon we will have our own Grand Prix, which will create ore interest. Even our prime minister, Mr Putin, got a taste of F1 when he tried a Renault F1 car earlier this year.

What will be the main challenges of 2011?
There are quite a few changes that we have to adapt to as a team: new tyres, moveable rear wings and KERS, which I’ve never used before. There’s even a new race in India. So there are some things to adapt to, but they should improve the show and make for better racing. I’ve already seen the new car in the wind tunnel and it looks very promising. I also love our new colours and can’t wait to get back in the car and go racing.

What do you hope to achieve in your second season?
My objective is to continue improving as a driver and to become more consistent. There were times this year when I made mistakes and lost points, and I know this is where I can improve. I think I showed that I have the speed, but I need to be consistent over the whole weekend and get the maximum from every session.

What is your plan over the next couple of months before testing begins in February?
I was thinking about spending a few days in Maranello this winter, but I have been told it probably wasn’t the best idea… Seriously, after a busy year I’m taking the time to go back home and see my family and friends. It’s also the time to recharge my batteries so that I can come back fresh next year. I’m already working hard on my fitness and doing lots of training to be ready for the start of the season. Then, in January, I will be at the factory to see my engineers and for my seat-fit in the new car.

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    111 comments on “Petrov to remain at Renault in 2011 and 2012”

    1. Very Good!

      1. And this video is something to keep hope alive

    2. Thanks for this!

      I struggle to see any motivation bar money behind this move. I am disappointed. I think the drive would be better suited to Heidfeld.

      The pieces are now starting to fall in, I think Force India will announce Sutil and Hulkenberg before New Year as well, which is a massive shame for di Resta.

      Hope to see the Malaysia/Abu Dhabi spec Petrov next year more than the “crash happy” Petrov that showed up so often last year.

      1. I think the drive would be better suited to Heidfeld.

        Heidfeld has had plenty of chances and has never made good on them. He has, at most, one season left in him. He’s admitted that he didn’t hit the ground running in the 2010 cars because they were alien to him, and he’s expressed interest in BMW’s DTM plans for 2012.

        1. Though I understand what you’re saying, I feel Heidfeld has always performed. He matched Kubica at BMW, and nearly always beat his other team-mates. He has, I think, 8 (from memory) 2nd places and the win was so close!

          I’m disappointed. Though, as you say, Heidfeld has now had his chance, but I think he would’ve been a far better choice that Petrov.

        2. I think that’s a bit harsh, but your right, Heidfeld is close to the end of his F1 racing years, Where as Petrov, even if not a great performer so far, has time to improve.

          Having said that, I’m of two minds. I don’t think he did well enough this year, but I’m happy for once they didn’t get rid of a new driver before he’s had a chance. I just hope Hulk gets a seat as well.

          1. Agreed. I feel a bit torn as well, since he really hasn’t earned two more years there, but it’s nice to see a team hang onto a driver and give them the chance to improve rather than kick them to the curb at the first mistake.

      2. This tells me two things:

        1. Genii needed the money.
        2. Group Lotus has little to no money.

        Otherwise, they would’ve gone for a Heidfeld.

        Still, Petrov has good potential, as seen in Sepang, Budapest, and Abu Dhabi.

      3. If he won’t perform like in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, then that’s a shame for Renault, that challenge for podiums, to have a driver out of contention for podiums.

      4. I think Petrov showed some real sparks of talent, F1 as incredibly tough on Rookies this season and they all made mistakes but I think Petrov might have it.

        I really hope di Resta gets a drive, he has shown enough in free practice to merit it… however Hulk also had a tough season but showed enough to me that I want to see what he could do given more time.

        Anyway congratulations to Petrov, I am surprised they signed for 2 years… but if he doesn’t cut it his contract won’t save him.

    3. Seems that any old Joe Bloggs can race in F1 nowadays.

      1. I’ll have a go ;)

    4. Brilliant!

      Long live Petrov! I hope he will show his best next season and blame his foes!

    5. What a waste of good seat and money.

      1. The money will go on repairs

    6. 2 years is too big a deal for him though he deserve this. I think 2012 deal have more to do for a Russian GP & sponsor with the team.So now built a good car & he a Kubica fight for it.

      1. Of course, in F1 a two year deal might end tomorrow, so I think this is more a vote of some confidence in Petrov and a please commit to any sponsors he might entice.

    7. I’m confused, what are we to call this team now. Because aren’t Lotus Racing, Team Lotus Renault?

      So these are Lotus Renault GP?

      I know this has been going on for a while, I just got fed up and stopped following, now I find myself lost!

      1. Lotus Racing have change their name to Team Lotus and carry Renault engines. Lotus Cars have done a deal with Renault F1 and are now known as Lotus Renault GP.

        1. Yeah, so Team Lotus Renault and Lotus Renault GP. Thanks PM!

          1. The green/yellow car is Lotus.
            the black/gold car is Renault.
            Epic Fail.

            1. Not Renault, it will be Lotus, same as BMW Sauber was Sauber last season.

            2. This is right.
              Lotus Renault GP – Renault. Will be known as the Renault team, Kubica and Petrov will drive Renault cars.

              Team Lotus – Renault. Will be talked about as Lotus.

              @ d-d, Thats a completly different case. BMW Sauber was known as Sauber in 2010 becase they have always been Sauber and its in their team name, BMW was not said often because it made no sense to.

              A better example is. A Benneton was still a Benneton even when Renault had taken over in 2001. Also a Jordan was still a Jordan in 2005 even though Midland had taken over pre season.

              As mentioned before by others, To call a Renault a Lotus in 2011 is the same as calling a Mclaren a Vodefone, a Ferrari a Marlboro, a Mercedes a Petronas.

              Marussia motors is in the same position with Virgin as Lotus Group are with Renault. No one is suggesting that we call the Virgin cars Marussias now are they?

          2. No they are:

            Team Lotus-Renault (The Team Formerly Known As Lotus Racing-Cosworth)

            Lotus Renault GP (The Team Formerly Known As Renault F1)

    8. but they should improve the show and make for better racing.

      No, just no Petrov.

      *rolls up newspaper* BAD F1 DRIVER BAD!

      1. I laughed my ass off :D

    9. I’m happy he’s back in. 2010 was a mixed bag for Petrov, and I disagreed with the ranking he got in the Top 27 drivers. I think there’s a little bit of Ari Vatanen in him: he’ll get a result or die trying. Some of his accidents came from pushing just a little bit too hard. If I were a team principal, that’s how I’d want my drivers to write their cars off – by trying to find that extra something. Much better than the Nico Hulkenbergs of the grid, making foolhardy mistakes when any other driver would see that the pass is never going to stick.

      Hopefully Petrov can tap into whatever possessed him in Turkey, Hungary and Abu Dhabi next season. It was immediately apparent that he was onto a good thing as soon as he hit the ground on all three weekends; he just needs to channel is on a regular basis and I think he could one day lead a team.

      1. +1 to this comment. Hopefully this year he’ll have more chances for testing so he can actually get acclimated to the car before being shoved into the race. Now that he knows all of the circuits, we should expect to see improved performance.

        1. I do hope this happened, and that the new two year contract makes him less stressed into delivering the wrong things – he did show good things, let him increase the rate of those and stop the over eager mistakes.

      2. Totally agree. In WRC they basically expect to spend the first year dragging their car out of the scenery, because that’s the only way to find where the limits are. See McRae, Gronholm, … Raikonnen…

        1. Haven’t Raikkonen’s team dropped him for 2011 though?

          1. I heard he was signing for Ford in time for next year?

            1. And might even do some NASCAR races for Ford from what I heard…

            2. oh god, Raikkonen in NASCAR? That’ll be rich. I’m sure Mr. Mumbles will fit right in with those press conferences… /sarcasm

          2. The high side to that would be that Kimi has a lot more time to party…

            1. And hopefully will come back to F1 in a few years. I miss him…

      3. I agree on Petrov deserving a second season to prove himself. I just hope he cuts out the mistakes fast and we will not be speaking about him as we refer to Sutil in a few years (doing so after 4 years).

      4. It’s so difficult to rate Petrov. On the one hand he was comprehensively beaten by Kubica. On the other hand, can we even compare Petrov to Kubica? Favouritism within the team aside (as i’m sure all number one drivers receive certain benefits), Kubica is possibly one of the most exciting drivers we have seen in F1. He is as fast as Alonso or Hamilton but driving a slower car. It’s kind of unfair to rate Petrov in that respect.

        Petrov drove some good races this year – and notably in Abu Dhabi withstood some serious pressure from Alonso and didn’t make a mistake. He deserves another season in F1 certainly. 2 seasons though? Well, Renault better have some faith in him – unless they are simply wanting some continuity in the team for when Kubica goes to Ferrari….!

        1. Or was the Renault even better than anyone rated it this year, Kubica was really only as good as say a Button or Webber, and Petrov is terrible? It’s difficult to compare different cars in F1. I do think Kubica probably overachieved what the car was capable of though…

          1. Whatever your rating of Petrov and Kubica to drivers in different cars, it’s fairly clear that Renault was probably 5th in pace over the season, an the only reason Renault had the chance to beat Merc, was Merc had their own driver off the pace.

            Regardless, it’s also clear that Kubica was a HELL of a lot better than Petrov this year, OMG he destroyed him. An this is my biggest problem with Petrov, Glock.

            Glocks a GP2 champion from a talented year, a fantastic driver at Toyota when the car was up to it, even better at Virgin, even thought the car was never up to it. If they wanted results they could have had Glock, truly challenging Kubica and pushing him further than he’s likley to go against Petrovs prang magnet. Probably make enough of a differance in the constructors to be worth it.

    10. And I thought Lotus Renault GP seriously wanted to fight for title next year…

      1. They still have Kubica!

        1. But it takes two drivers to win a WCC…

        2. And it also helps if the drivers are pushing each other to the limits… Well, let’s hope Vitaly will be better in 2011. He’s no longer a rookie, and he’s helping to develop the 2011 car. Now we will really see what he is made of.

          1. Hmm, and what is plan B if he fails again?

    11. Good news, I think this is the right choice. Money most probably played a big role in this decision but I believe that Petrov has the potential to become a very good driver. He definitely deserves another chance. Yes he made too many mistakes and collected too few points but one has to remember the circumstances in which he joined Renault and in which he had to spend his 1st season. The testing was very limited and Petrov was a clear number 2 in the team from the very beginning. If there was a sunny day during February tests then Kubica got to drive even though the initial plan was to give the car to Petrov. And this happened on more than just one occasion. Gerard Lopez openly admitted that Renault wanted to build the team around Kubica. I guess that Petrov sometimes did not get the latest updates to the car as well.

      I expect Petrov to perform better in 2011 and I think that we will see more performances similar to the ones he showed in Malaysia, Hungary or Abu Dhabi this year.

    12. He will support Kubica well but I bet my wallet – Kubica to Ferrari before the middle of the season!!

      1. I’d rather you bet the contents of it… ;)

    13. seems like money mainly.. but he aint a bad driver.
      He now has to show everyone what he can do..

    14. In fact, recently one of the major lifestyle magazines included me in their top ten most attractive single men of Russia!

      I am not kidding you on this one: a major lifestyle magazine here in Australia recently included one of my cousins as one of the top ten most attractive single men of the country (for those of you playing at home, he created Beached Az), and the guys there were so attractive that I wanted to date them. For a moment.

      Now, I admit to being a Petrov fan … but, well, the dude looks like he’s been worked over with a larger-than-regulation-size ugly stick. Speaks volumes to the quality of their men. Strangely enough, their women are fantastic.

      1. I was thinking about spending a few days in Maranello this winter, but I have been told it probably wasn’t the best idea…

        What he lacks in looks, he more than makes up for in the humour department. Am I the only one who found this hilariously funny?

        Maybe I’ve been hanging out with the Russians for too long …

        1. I like that :-)

          Drivers with a sense of humour = A Good Thing

          1. Oh, absolutely. That story about someone replacing Nico Rosberg’s passport photograph with Britney Spears’ photo reminded me of the days when Senna and Berger were so busy playing pranks on one another that it was a wonder they had time to race. In the ultra high-pressure world of Formula 1, drivers who can laugh at themselves are always welcome.

            1. Or Kobayashi saying the reason he’s so fearless at overtaking is because his small Japanese eyes make it so that he doesn’t actually even see the drivers he’s overtaking and simply drives right past them.

        2. Yes, I do like the bits of interview we saw with him this year, intelligent, and not taking himself too serious.

          1. Or his racing…

        3. So in the end we find out, he was thinking of beating Kubica to the Ferrari seat! Impressive thinking ahead.

          I got the feeling Petrov will be a nice addition to the field. Sounds great, with Webbers interesting remarks, Hamilton starting to open up, Button always good for a nice soundbite, Kobayashi being quit a nice guy making jokes, Petrov with humour, Rosberg being pranked by his engineer, and Schumacher being more open to the media as well.

      2. their women ARE fantastic

      3. I think the reason why he is so popular with the female population might be because when you have the right shots of him, he looks like Mark Hamill. Looking like an actor is always bonus points and while I cannot speak for the girls of that era I assume that dating Luke Skywalker was for those girls who were into Star Wars (apparently they exist…) a nice idea as well.

        1. And when you get the wrong shots of him, he looks like Alex DeLarge …

        2. Although Vettel’s the one with the Luke Skywalker hair.

          1. All I can help but think is “aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

      4. Of course that depends on who you ask. Not everyone’s into the Ken and Barbie looks, you know.

    15. A two year extension? Wow. Talk about unexpected.

      That’s some serious cash he must be bringing. Petrov did not earn a two year extension by any stretch of the imagination last season. I’m slightly surprised he’s even coming back next year, but I think there was a bit of ‘who else do you sign’ that worked in his favour.

      1. The second year might just be an option or based on pionts gained etc.

      2. Mag I’m now automatically seeing puns in your comments. I read part of that as “That’s some serious crash he must be bringing”.

        His cash might not be directly from him but just from Russian companies willing to sponsor Renault again because of him (perhaps why he was allowed to host the press conference rather than Renault?).

        I’m surprised it’s a two year deal though as at the maximum I expected one year for him to be fully up to speed and then a review and whether he’d be in or out.

        On a different note, I’m glad Keith is still calling the team ‘Renault’ as it makes life a lot more simple.

        Congratulations to Prisoner Monkeys who I imagine is beaming and possibly dancing about his room :P

        1. On a different note, I’m glad Keith is still calling the team ‘Renault’ as it makes life a lot more simple.

          As much as the teams would like it, most journalists don’t refer to them by their sponsors’ names unless they’re trying to impress the team. When was the last time a journalists wrote about “Vodafone McLaren Mercedes” or “Petronas Mercedes GP?” Renault’s chassis and team name are still both Renault, Group Lotus is just a sponsor. Bahar’s definitely implied he’d like to change that in the future though.

      3. I completely agree with you Magnificent Geoffrey.

    16. I’m actually pretty gald to hear this news. Lotus Renault GP sticking with Petrov has bucked the worrying trend of teams signing up successful GP2 drivers, giving them a brief stint in F1 and then discarding them leaving them searching for reserve driver roles or drives in IndyCar, GT1 etc etc etc.

      Yes he’s bringing a sizable wad of cash, but he also has shown a fair turn of speed and will no doubt improve in his second season. Good rto see a team showing some faith in their talent.

    17. Not surprised Petrov is staying with Renault but surprised he got a two year deal, I suppose with the way contracts are in F1 there is no guarantee it will last the full two years though.

    18. I can’t say I’m surprised at the reactions to this. Petrov wasn’t the most popular driver this season. But it’s easy to forget two very important elements:

      Firstly, Renault never expected to be competitive this year. I distinctly remember people like James Allison saying that they had a three-year plan to get back on top of the world when the R30 was launched, And as a part of that plan, Renault were expecting a muted 2010. They weren’t planning on being as competitive as they were until the end of 2011. After all, this was just as they were clawing their way out of the mud that was the Singapore investigations. The R30 suprised even them,

      It is known that Petrov brought fifteen million Euros to the team. And that their budget for 2010 was a hundred and fifty million Euros. So that’s ten percent of their budget that he accounted for. And because he was signed the day the R30 was unveiled, not one Euro from his sponsor package actually went into the initial design of the R30. But fifteen million Euros is no small amount, so there’s one other place it could have gone: research and development. Petrov’s money gave Renault that little bit extra to play around with when it came to developing the car. With it, they were able to pursue a more-aggressive development strategy. Now, I’m not saying that Petrov alone is solely responsible for Renault’s success, and it’s impossible to say whether Kubica would have scored some of the results he did without Petrov in the team – but I think it’s wrong to write him off entirely. In his own way, Petrov helped the team out.

      It’s also a misconception to say that a different second driver would have given Renault fourth in the WCC. I crunched the numbers a while ago (roughly, I should say), and assuming that Petrov average finishing position was one place lower than Kubica’s, and assuming that Schuamcher and Rosberg maintained the same average finishing position as they did in 2010, then Mercedes still would have triumphed by four points.

      1. An excellent and balanced response, Thank you.

      2. It is known that Petrov brought fifteen million Euros to the team. And that their budget for 2010 was a hundred and fifty million Euros. So that’s ten percent of their budget that he accounted for.

        And that’s why this is story… in the epitome of the automobile racing world… it all comes down to advertising.

      3. Petrov’s money may have helped the team, but Kubica absolutely destroyed him this year. Maybe Renault never had a chance to beat Mercedes this year, but that’s no excuse for Petrov’s poor season. He finished over 100 points behind his team mate, that is terrible by rookie standards.

        1. He’s a rookie. A rookie who never drove a Formula 1 car until winter testing began this year. And even then, he got very little time in it because Renault needed Kubica to do as much dry-weather running as possible. Compare that to Hulkenberg and Kobayashi, both of whom had very good relationships with existing teams – Williams and Toyota respectively – for several years, where they often tested the cars.

          Besides, Petrov was partnered with Kubica, one of the highest-rated drivers on the grid.

          1. Senna, Prost, Shumacher, Mansell, Alonso and Hamilton would have eaten Pet for lunch in their rookie years.

            I’m guessing that you are suggesting that Pet’s year is down to the testing ban and that I’m totally against.

            I like Pet… I just don’t think he is up to par as an F1 driver. Think about it. How many rookies get a 3 year contract confirmed after a bad season?

            Like I said… it’s all come down to the advertising dollar, pound, euro or what ever you want to call it.

            Personally I like Pet, but Pet is out of his league.

    19. My my, we are quick to throw people on the trash heap aren’t we! Good for Petrov, good for Renault. Yes, I agree he under performed last season, as did half of the grid! No-one takes the time to build relationships and foster talent any more…

      Are you all fans of the X-factor by chance?

    20. Well he has potential, but as soon as I read the headline I thought sarcastically to myself: “I wonder why he was signed on for two years?” Money? Quite probable. To retain Russian interest in F1 for an extended period due to the proposed 2014 Russian Grand Prix? Definitely. But I still like him a lot, because he is kind of like Kobayashi in that he never backs down from a challenge, and his race in Korea until the unusual crash was actually quite admirable. Good on him, I say. :)

    21. This news is great, although I kind of like Heidfeld but Petrov should have little more time to adapt he has shown that there is a spark in him that can only get bigger. I cant wait to seem him perform on the new Pirelli’s, maybe he will cope with to them much better

    22. In many ways, 2010 was about learning. 2011 will be about performing.

      He hit the nail on the head there. I’m glad he’s retained his seat, he was good to watch in 2010, mistakes included. Look forward to seeing him develop as a driver.

      Good stuff on Log In link at the top Keith.

      1. IMHO he learned absolutely nothing in 2010.

        1. Then you clearly weren’t watching the likes of Turkey, Hungary and Abu Dhabi.

    23. Money obviously was a draw for the team, but Abu Dhabi certainly made the decision to keep Petrov easier. At the start of the season I thought Petrov would flounder after the number of crashes he was involved in, but the amount of time he held Fernando at bay in the end proved the Russian can cut it to a certain extent.
      One suspects more will be expected of him in 2011, but everybody has to start somewhere.

    24. The big news will be if Kubica stays there. Personally I think he and Massa will do a swap.

    25. Well, it’s good to hear that Petrov and his family will retain the use of their fingers.

      But seriously, folks – I do think he deserves another drive. Unfortunately, with the Mario Kart wings, it’s unlikely he’ll be given a chance to prove his mettle the way he did in front of Alonso…

    26. I’m also surprised by all the negative comments here about Petrov. Sure, he was outpaced by Kubica throughout the season but that’s like saying Button was outperformed by Hamilton, or Hulkenberg by Barrichello. He’s a decent driver with a world class team mate, not to mention the fact he’s still a rookie with plenty of room for improvement, which I’m sure he will given the chance.

      I’m glad he’s retained the seat.

      1. I personally think Petrov was the most out of his depth driver on the grid last season. He had the best car of all the rookies and more often than not put in a poor performance.

        His previous experience in other categories is hardly flattering either.

        For me the appointment of Petrov, who is clearly bringing a LOT of money to the team symbolises the fall of a once great team. Sure, they will do better for the money and fair enough, but it’s sad to see them in this position.

        All the best to Petrov for next season though. His poor performances this year appeared to be him struggling with the pressure the team were placing on him to keep his seat for 2011. With that out of the way we may see him perform.

        Bring on 2011.

        1. Agreed, but there has to be a lift on the testing. It’s hard for me to believe that a very good driver can not acclimate to the F1 environment.

          Having said that I can depose several CART or INDY drivers in the mix Yes they were champions in America but they didn’t make it in F1. There is something about F1 that is unique above all over venues. Jacques got it done, but he didn’t beat Hill to a WDC.

          Pet isn’t the league of even the best 2nd motor racing series.
          Pet is in F1 because of the money he can bring to Renault.

          Niki Lauda used to get loans from banks to buy a ride… but he was confident that he could pay them back with purses from the wins and so he did.

          Really, what’s Pet got to offer?

    27. I have mixed feeling over this, if Petrov wasn’t a rookie I doubt that he would have been given a second chance. Petrov had some decent races in 2010, but overall he was poor. Boullier should give him only half a season to get his act together, if he doesn’t improve, then he should be fired.

      Petrov was poor in 2010, but as a rookie, I guess he should get a second chance. But if he doesn’t improve by around Silverstone next year, then he shouldn’t be in Formula One.

    28. Its true that he performed badly more then any positive drives. But it was a rookie season and rookies make mistaks. Petrov will need to seriously raise his game next season if hes to last till 2012. Keeping him will atleast give him a chance to impress, which shouldnt be too hard given that he wasnt exactly setting the world alight this season gone.

      Agree with Journeyer, its a money thing more then anything else.

    29. “I was thinking about spending a few days in Maranello this winter, but I have been told it probably wasn’t the best idea… ”


    30. “Also, thanks to Vitaly and the team, Russia is opening up to Formula 1. Over the past few months, we’ve established close links with this country and with some of its strongest companies. We’re looking forward to building on this special relationship and turning it into a very successful adventure over the next two seasons.”

      Translation. We look forward to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from Russia.

      1. So what? Will a Russian GP make the sport better? You can buy a seat… but if all the fans of Russia are pulling for an incompetent driver… how does really help F1. All of my favorite drives are from countries that are not of my natural origins. Yes I am a fan of drivers…but I’m a lover of F1!

        Think of the sport not of where you are from!

        Think about it.

    31. I can’t understand this. Taken in isolation, yes, he showed moments of promise and you could understand giving him another season.

      But surely Hulkenberg, Sutil and Heidfeld would all have jumped at that seat. Hulkenberg is rated highly and looking for a seat. Sutil has an option to remain at Force India for another season but would surely relish the chance to prove himself elsewhere. And Heidfeld has been cast out in the cold again, but remains a reliable, proven talent of the second-from-top drawer. It’s hard to argue that none of them would outperform Petrov.

      This betrays Genii to be running the team from a finance perspective rather than a racing one. Yes, Petrov comes soaked in roubles, but once you put that above racing talent in your driver decision, you lose all credibility in my eyes.

    32. As long as he can bring lotus renault GP or whatever they are called now some money to give Kubica a car to fight for the wins i will be delighted. He really deserves a better seat, but there is nowhere to go really. Ferrari would kill him, Red Bull is filled, so is McLaren and Mercedes.

    33. That can’t be so bad – maybe the team is planning to open a new Petrov-based business, where F1 fans from all over the world could bet how many times he crashes his car in 2011. I suggest:

      1:1,5 – one crash per race
      1:2 – 15 crashes
      1:4 – 10 crashes
      1:10 – 5 crashes
      1:100000000000000 – no crash in season

      Always a good way to earn some extra money. Because money is the most important in racing, right Lotus-Renault?

      1. Oh man. You really have problems with your head. The things that could cost a life for drivers are not a reason for joking.

        Just say that you don’t want to see Petrov because he is a Russian and nothing more. And probably Maldonado or Perez who paid even more then Petrov whould deffinetly be much better candidates for his seat. Just say that or shut up!!!!

        1. Who cares if he’s Russian or not? He’s a bad driver, and doesn’t deserve to be in F1. He had his chance and finished high below expectations.
          Insulting me will not change the fact that it was a money-decision, sorry mate.
          Answering your question, I would rather see Sutil, Hulk or Heidfeld. Speaking of Maldonado, I could bet he will finish the 2011 season with a better result than Petrov.

          1. Ok, I will also bet!! I bet that Vitaly in next season will be near to Kubica, and he scores more then 70% of Robert points!!! Maldonado: I also like this guy. Wish him all the best and hope he will be in F1 many years!!!

            I don’t want to be rough and probably I need to appologize. But Vitaly was the only driver who wasn’t a test driver in F1(like Kobayashi, Hulkenberg or Heidfeld), he never participated in a Karting championship. He just won all championships that were possible in Russia where all cars are identical and then moved to Europe where he also had a success. He had created his career only basing on his talent and only after that (in 2009) some Russian companies understood that he could bring some money to them. That’s because someone called him as “Pay-Driver”. But if you look at his career more closely you will understand that the man who rised from dirt and then reached F1 at least can’t be called as “Bad driver”.

            1. Ok, I confess it was unfair to call him a “bad driver”. I agree he was a monster in Lada Cup/Lada Revolution and started driving well in his last two years in GP2. He made a lot of progress and certainly showed some skills in GP2, but that doesn’t prove that he is also automatically a good F1 driver.
              In my opinion he can’t feel the car. Makes too much mistakes, fears to use the full potential of the vehicle. He may be talented and a good F1 driver in the future but now he needs lots of training – maybe one season as test driver. Certainly not as a second driver in a team that will try to fight with the best.
              Maybe I’m wrong and he magically will improve and start showing us some real action, but that rarely works like this in F1 ;)

    34. The problem for Renault is that Petrov will be learning KERS, movable wing, and new tires all year long… again.

    35. Now Fernando Alfonso has all the winter break to devise better overtaking techniques, because Petrov stays in F1 :D

    36. So how much money is Vitaly bringing in to Renault?

    37. Reno are becoming a joke, first the Lotus deal, now two years for Petrov…
      What was formerly one of my favoured teams have severly dropped in the last month.

    38. I am really pleased Petrov is getting another chance. I want to see what he can do. My gut tells me he’s going to be pretty special for a pay-driver. He just needs more experience; I think he’s got the confidence.

      I never liked Heidfeld. He always gave me the impression of being very average. Not exciting at all, either.

    39. Its very clear that this is so Renault can attract a large amount of Russian sponsors. They don’t care that he’s a D grade driver, this is purely a business decision.

    40. Latest twist in the Lotus vs Lotus saga:

      Chapman Family backs Group Lotus

      If I’m honest, this changes my opinion of whether Tony Fernandes should race under the Team Lotus name next year.

      I believe he has the legal right to, however without the support of the Chapman family, I don’t believe he should.

      1. It certainly changes the cards handed out.

    41. Anatoly Nechaev
      25th December 2010, 13:41

      According to Petrov’s manager, there’s no money clauses in his contract.

      Those interviews are in Russian, so use google translate.

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