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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