Petrov: "Out-qualifying Robert better than beating Fernando"


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Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 2011

Vitaly Petrov revealed the new livery for this year’s Renault at Autosport International today.

Afterwards he spoke to F1 Fanatic about starting his second year with the team.

F1 Fanatic: Congratulations on your new deal for this season. Is there a particular area of performance you hope to improve in your second season?

Vitaly Petrov: Everything, I think. The first season was difficult for us because we didn’t know the tracks and I didn’t know, in general, how F1 was working.

But now I have much more experience, more details about all the season. 2011 will not be easy but it will be easier because I’ve already done one year.

F1F: How was the reaction in Russia to your new contract?

VP: There was a big reaction because people were waiting for me to sign the contract. They were a little bit worried because it took long to sign the deals.

F1F: You had a strong end to 2010. What was more satisfying in Abu Dhabi – beating Robert Kubica in qualifying or keeping Fernando Alonso behind for 39 laps?

VP: I think it was more qualifying in the top ten. It was just a normal race – Fernando couldn’t overtake because of the track, not because of his speed, and also I didn’t want to push hard and kill my tyres.

So in general it was a good weekend.

F1F: You were ahead of Robert twice in qualifying last year. Will it be more this year?

VP: I don’t know how many times more it will be this year, but I will do what I can and we’ll see.

F1F: So what can you do to help the team improve their championship position in 2011?

VP: I think we just need to work together and continue to push harder: develop the car, develop my driving, everything little by little and together we can win.

F1F: Last year Robert did more of the pre-race testing with the car. Do you think you’ll get as much time as him in the car this year?

VP: I’m sure it will be fifty-fifty, I don’t think he will do more testing than me.

Autosport International 2011

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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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    46 comments on “Petrov: "Out-qualifying Robert better than beating Fernando"”

    1. I think if Vitali can get to about 3 tenths off Kubica’s pace this season he will of done well. He has a team-mate who is quite frankly a world champion in waiting once he gets the right car he will probably be in the same situation as last season in terms of qualifying ratio’s

      He couldn’t be too proud about beating Fernando, the McLaren (Which was a better car) at Abu Dhabi couldn’t get past the Renault so the Ferrari stood no chance.

      I am looking forward to see how well Vitali does this season.

      1. I agree with you RIISE. Petrov would never beat Kubica. Kubica is the one of best driver in grid, so If Petrov close the gap less than 3 tenths, it will be very successful season.

        above all, I think Petrov’s real problem is not qualifying face but constancy of race.

        1. sorry. consistency.

      2. Vitaly is the man! He will surely improve this year. Go Vity! :)

      3. A Renault driven by Kubica is not really the same as a Renault driven by Petrov.

        1. Any car driven by Kubica is not that same when driven by another man! He is without doubt one of the biggest talents on the grid, I really would love to see him in a car which can really challenge!

          1. Any car driven by Kubica is not that same when driven by another man!

            What about a certain Nick Heidfeld who scored more points than him in 2 of their 3 years together?

    2. I still think Petrov was the worst driver on the grid last year.

      However, he is a good guy and I wish him good luck for 2011. It would be great to see him do well.

      1. Never seen Yamamoto?

      2. Yea, well make that “fullt time” driver then.

        Then Petrov goes on to claim that he couldn’t learn anything from Kubica. He “only”(!) had his telemetry available.

        If you can’t learn from telemetry then you don’t belong in F1.

    3. Is the article title a misquote, because he says it was more qualifying in the top ten then holding Alonso back or beating Kubica that he was most happy with.

      1. Yeah I was gonna point that out. His answer isn’t strictly what the title says.

        I hope Petrov does well next year, I do think he was unfairly criticised this year – and drove some great races which largely went unnoticed.

        1. Agreed. I’m glad he was kept around another year and hope he really starts to come into his own

        2. He said he preferred qualifying in the top ten, and in the context of the question he was just asked, it means in front of Kubica, as Kubica was 11th.

          Of course, you could write a letter demanding he says it more specifically…

      2. I agree with you. It’s only going on qualifying to top ten not beating Robert. I think Vitaly will not show anything more than 2010 season.

    4. Right decision from Renault to keep Petrov, he’ll only get better. On a livery note, although it doesnt look that great on last years car, i would like to bet it’ll look better on the 2011 car when it’s out on track come February

      1. Luca Badoer was “doing better” also. That’s hardly an argument to keep them on.

        Especially if the improvement is so minute.

    5. Petrov showed in one or two races last season, that he’s no mug. He should do better this season and maybe, just maybe…..

      1. He should do better, at least he knows the tracks and the team and what to expect. I think he is an interesting driver, just look at his drivering in Turkey and Malaysia.

    6. captain tightpants
      13th January 2011, 17:18

      i looove vitaly!

    7. One thing that Petrov was really good at in 2010 was his race starts. He always managed to get a good launch off the line and made up 2, 3, 4 positions, even before the first corner.

      If he can be a lot more consistent this year he could have a very good season. He has a lot of potential.

      1. i second that

      2. So true about the starts!

      3. When you’re surrounded by Virgins and HRTs at the start that’s no wonder ;).

        Ha, I’m exaggerating – I do think he gets well off the line, but his grid position surely helps.


          That would be Alguersuari, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, Buemi, Liuzzi, de la Rosa and a spinning Alonso all overtaken at the start – not exactly HRT ;)

          1. Australia was monstrous, I agree. Still, it’s easier to achieve that from the back of the grid (18th as far as I remember) than say from the positions Kubica started his races :).

            1. Right, no way he Petrov could have made up 7 places when starting in the top 6, LOL

          2. Superb. If he could mantain those level throughout the whole season instead of some races only he’d be a lot closer to Kubica.

      4. You are right, he was always very fast from the grid, but he must be a bit more carefull not to hit anyone coming through the field!

      5. I completely agree, but I noticed that he got a lot more conservative off his starts after the incident at Suzuka. I hope this break has allowed him to prepare mentally & bring back those epic starts!

    8. With Renault changing to a British race liscence, as part of the Lotusisation of the team, it means the sum total of French participation in F1 will only be 6 Renault powered cars and the name of each race as Grand Prix.

      No Drivers.
      No Teams.
      No Race.

      All mean no French anthem in F1 next year, which is a shame.

    9. He’ll need to improve significantly, I.e score more than 20% of his teammate’s points.

      1. LOL. I agree.. I could see a further 20% jump. But I cannot see him getting more than half the points tally of Kubica

    10. On the beginning of the 2010 season he said that ‘F1 is easy’ and now he’s saying that ‘it is hard’, so i dont really believe in that what he says. Furthermore, he said that help from Robert’s side didn’t look like in his imagination’s- well paying driver cries because better driver doesn’t want to bother? Thst’s pathetic.

      1. He said F1 is easy? What a load of tosh, where’s your source? I don’t think any F1 driver would say F1 is easy. (Well, Schumacher probably thought it a few times).

        1. Kubica was talking about it last year (about Petrov saying ‘F1 is easy’).

        2. Kubica said in one of the interviews that when he was talking to Petrov during last winter tests he was stunned when Petrov said to him that F1 was easy, similar to GP2.

          I personaly think that all drivers paying for their seats ruin F1 as a sport. Petrov is the best example. But what can you expect if you have Mr. Putin behind you :)

        3. He did say it, and it is a commonly known quote from him. He said there was not much difference between GP2 and F1 and so it’s gonna be easy racing in F1.

    11. I still think that Petrov retaking his position on Hamilton and their whole duel at Sepang was one of the highlights of the season – and anyone who can go one on one with Hamilton definitely has potential. Petrov was his own worst enemy last year. If he manages to reach for his best stuff more often than not this year he might even surprise us.

      1. Agreed. Petrov’s last season was no better or worse than Kimi’s or Heidfeld’s first season (and they both had the chance to test a bit more than Petrov).

        But, next season will be the proof of his potential. If he continues to crash the cars, he’ll be no better than another classy pay driver De Cesaris. On the other hand, if does his job properly, with a better race consistency, he might end up being a quality driver in next 10 years or so – kinda like Alesi or Irvine. Don’t see him as a regular winner or front runner, not at this point anyway.

    12. Keith, what did you actually think of Petrov as a person? I saw the interview in one of the Autosport articles that got posted overnight, and he comes across as a pretty decent guy. I think the reason why I like him as a driver is that he came across as pretty realistic. When the interviewer asked him about KERS, the new rear wings and Pirelli tyres, Petrov admitted that they were all new to him and that he’d have to learn as much as possible. I can’t help but think that a lot of other drivers would simply dismiss them as being nothing.

    13. Do agree with him that Alonso tried his best but the track not the car let him down.

    14. I see Petrov has lost some weight, look at his legs. That’s one of the few positive signs I see for him next year, but maybe I’m wrong..

    15. with regard to keep on crashing…
      Check this video go to 1.15 min
      Petrov almost fall of the stairs.

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