Petrov to join Button, Vettel and Schumacher at Race of Champions

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Vitaly Petrov will compete in the Race of Champions.

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Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Vitaly Petrov becomes ROC’s first Russian driver (Renault)

Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button are already confirmed.

Jenson Button angered by constant questions about Lewis Hamilton

“Asked about the solution to Hamilton’s woes Button barked back: ‘I don’t give a damn. I don’t want to be asked again. It is doing my head in. If you want to do an interview with me about me that is fine but I don’t want to be asked about Lewis again.'”

Yas Marina Circuit to remain as ‘pinnacle of F1’ (Emirates 24/7)

CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management Richard Cregan: “We’ve established ourselves already as one of the best circuits in the world and we welcome more races into the championship. It makes the championship maintain its level as the pinnacle of motorsport championship. We are not concerned about that. We offer our help and support to new circuits if we can. Come the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, everybody will see we are still up there with the best circuit in Formula One today.”

F1 teams eye Indian sponsorship pie (Reuters)

“The indifference shown by the majority of India’s deep-pocketed corporates towards Formula One has baffled team bosses who expect them to warm to the sport following the success of last weekend’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix.”

Renault still in the dark over Kubica (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “The last information I have is that we will have to sit down and discuss how we can handle Robert Kubica’s comeback, because I don’t believe he can commit in the coming days. In the coming weeks maybe – but not coming days.”

Silverstone investors query bid pecking order (Daily Telegraph)

“Investors who were involved in the bidding process to develop Silverstone race track and its surrounding land are unhappy at the way in which the Alpha Group, a mystery consortium allegedly backed by money from Qatar, leapt to the front of the queue in the summer.”

James Hinchcliffe via Twitter

“The McLaren Technology Center was incredible. Met some great people. Who knows…”

Minardi Formula 1 Wheel with Bridgestone Grooved Display Tyre (2004) Rare Item (eBay)

“This item has been kindly donated to me to sell on here to raise much needed funds for a young friend of mine Will. Will is 4 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. Wills condition means that he walks aided with a frame. With your help, we are hoping to raise ??50,000 to send Will and his family to the USA for a life changing operation to help Will walk unaided.”

Formula One Fantasy – Lotus’s Karun Chandhok (F1)

“Q: Just 19 of the world’s motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
KC: Laguna Seca – it looks like a fantastic circuit and I like the idea of F1 going back to America.”

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Comment of the day

Alex’s view on Driver of the Weekend:

Quite apart from his race win, Vettel also produced yet another last-gasp improvement in qualifying.

It’s so easy to head out for a second time desperate to go faster; push too hard; and then return to the pits having made a mistake. But with Hamilton quite close behind his previous time, Vettel would have felt under pressure, and once again he pulled it off with several tenths’ improvement.

Amongst the other front-runners, Alonso wasn’t really any faster than Massa, and if you can’t outpace your team-mate, then you’re hardly the driver of the day. Jenson was more impressive to me because of a great start, because he made the overtake of Webber look easy (and safe), and beacause he drove faster than Hamilton.

But ultimately Vettel reigned supreme, in the same car that looked average in Webber’s hands.

From the forum

Site updates

A new graph in the statistics pages shows all the drivers’ starting positions throughout the season:

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to 1980 world champion Alan Jones who turns 65 today!

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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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70 comments on “Petrov to join Button, Vettel and Schumacher at Race of Champions”

  1. While it’s nice to see Vitaly get some recognition, what has we won to make people consider him a “Champion”?

    1. I don’t recall Heikki having ‘won’ anything significant prior to his first time at the ROC.

      1. Neither did Seb Vettel, I guess you have to be Popular in your country. The first time that Vettel went on ROC was back on 2007 when he just got signed by Toro Rosso, he haven´t won anything at that itme.

        1. he was the youngest driver ever to score a point. youngest driver ever to lead a race, was running 3rd in the STR in Fuji, and finished 4th at China.

          That’s more than enough for a guy that was just 20 at the time.

          1. Petrov finished 3rd in Melbourne and is currently the lead driver of one of F1’s bigger teams.

        2. Vettel was a Formula BMW champion. Kovalainen was a World Series Champion.

    2. Look at it on the bright side. He is the only current F1 driver not to have started in carts but racing Lada’s, if memory serves me right. His expertise in different forms of motorsport might play into his advantage…but thats just me trying to be positive.

      1. To be in the ROC you need to have won a championship, I know Heikki won a championship around the GP2 Formula 3 Formula Renault area but I’m not sure which one.

        1. That’s correct, Heikki won the World Series by Nissan (now called WSbRenault) title that year.

      2. Didn’t Vitaly do ice racing as well?

        1. “I’ve never raced in an event with such a quick turnaround of machinery but perhaps my unusual background in rally sprints and ice racing can help me. I’ll give my best and see what happens.”

          If what he says is true then yes.

    3. He was champion in the Lada cup – a bit like Russian tourincar champ @pjtierney

  2. Didn’t know the meaning of “pinnacle of motorsports” changed so vastly in a blink of an eye.

    If Abu Dhabi is one of the best circuits in the world, then what’s Suzuka, Spa or Silverstone? probably Zeus’ favourite racetracks?

    The Yas Marina must be one of the WORST designs ever in human history. It fails everywhere… the ONLY thing that looks good and works quite well is a hotel, which has nothing to do with the racetrack.

    Every year it’s the same story. It’s just unbelivable they did such a terrible work when they had all the money at their disposal and an empty dessert to build whatever they wanted.

    Instead, they designed some chicanes. Jeez, rant over.

    1. I agree completely.

      While I think the hotel looks quite nice and is a impressive engineering work, I can’t help but think that it is completely out of place. In fact, this whole aproach of staging a race near or around marinas and impressive buildings turns me down. Some years back the only race to have these features was Monaco, and know we have Valencia, Singapore (ok, we can barely see the water at night, but still), Yas Marina and Yeongam was supposed to have a marina too and a entire city built around it. And know we will have Port Imperial, and if I’m not mistaken the Sochi track will be quite close to the Black Sea.

      Only Monaco used to have these features, and it is valued because of its history, setting and uniqueness. Trying to despearetly replicate that classic scenary in every new track is not only boring, but makes it look ordinary.

      I don’t even look forward to these tracks anymore, and with every year my love for Spa, Suzuka and Interlagos grows bigger and bigger.

      1. Very much agree with your whole statement. Tracks like Spa and Suzuka seem to be “carved” into the landscape but its hard to replicate that when there isn’t much to start with and no desire to make a track interesting since its pretty much a monopoly. Some competition would be nice, just for the sake of having a different style.

      2. Exactly, it’s not unique nor good enough. It’s just complete and utter rubbish.

        And the worst thing is there’s little room now for improvements.

        1. To their credit, the organisers arranged for some upgrades within weeks of last year’s race. However, they decided to wait a year because they felt the Pirelli tyres and DRS in particular would address the issues with the circuit. They did not want to invest millions of dolalrs reconfiguring the circuit if changes to the cars could address the problems with the circuit, and they have promised to introduce the planned changes if this year’s event falls flat. The desire to be a credit to the sport is there – which is more than the likes of Valencia and Bahrain can say for themselves – but they’re just going about it the wrong way.

          I honestly think that a lot of the attention is going to be focused on the midfield battles – Toro Rosso vs. Sauber is shaping up to be a good fight – and the GP2 race, because a lot of drivers will be making their debut.

          1. I honestly think that a lot of the attention is going to be focused on the midfield battles

            let me rephrase that @prisoner-monkeys, into: the thing we will have to focus on out of lack of anything going on must be our hope of at least seeing some close racing in the midfield.

            Its a great looking setting, but they really could have done a proper job with the track. Even creat undulations, like India did (not that it did that much for better racing).

          2. they really could have done a proper job with the track. Even creat undulations, like India did

            They did. Turns 2-4 are thirty metres (or maybe thirty feet; I can’t remember) above the rest of the circuit.

          3. If I remember correctly @prisoner-monkeys, they promised to do up to 30 meters (100ft) but in the end settled for about 30 ft of it.

          4. Given the shape of the circuit, thirty metres would be impractice. There would be a chance that parts of the artificial hills could collapse.

          5. I wasn’t saying they should have. Just that they first wanted to do more, but thought the better of it (probalby for the reason you state).

            In the end having undulation ads character to a track, but its not a solution to create good racing by itself.
            The layout if flawed and its a bit of a shame the organisers now wait with track improvements for DRS and KERS in the hope they do the trick.

          6. To their credit, the organisers arranged for some upgrades within weeks of last year’s race.

            I’m not sure you are grasping the scale of the criticism…… :D

            A lick of paint here and there can only do so much.

        2. The one thing they have to do in order to increase overtaking is to make the f1 cars cut out the fiddly turn 5 and 6 chicane, which should improve overtaking oppurtunities down the long straight

    2. In defence of the Abu Dhabi organisers, the drivers said the Indian track was phenomenal, and the racing was pretty tedious there too.

      Yes the track is rubbish. But the poor racing has other things to blame for it too.

      1. I still appreciated that they were racing on a proper circuit in India though. Even thought the race was dull the drivers looked challenged (look to Massa) particularly in the fast corners which Abu Dhabi lacks. Abu Dhabi is dreary in every respect though.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      2nd November 2011, 13:32

      Yes, it has so many chicanes and auxiliar roads that every time I play the F1game I don’t really know which the hell the track is, always getting penalized for taking the one-hundredth auxiliar road… and in real life is even worse. If you want to see a fantastic, shining hotel, take a look at the Travel Chanel or so… but this is F1 and even if Spa was placed in a lunar landscape, as long as the track remains the same, it would still be fantastic

    4. I mean, at least don’t go saying every day that Yas Marina is the best track ever! Have the wisdom to shut up :P

    5. I want à circuit on tha side of Kilimanjaro. That would be awesome and also provide us with an African race.
      But this, this … Abu Dahbi
      come on!

  3. We’ve established ourselves already as one of the best circuits in the world and we welcome more races into the championship.

    Oh, look. The floor is rushing up to my face. It would appear that I have fallen out of my chair laughing, though it’s considerably less funny now that I have a concussion.

    1. Yeah, but maybe we should read that as being amongst the few tracks F1 races on same as we often consider drivers to be amongst the best because they make it into F1.

    2. I still find the statement rather funny even with a concussion.

    3. @Prisoner-Monkeys I appreciate they have to spout PR but talk about over-egging it!

  4. I don’t know if anyone’s read the latest F1 Racing mag issue, but there’s quite a considerable section which is basically trying to sell the Abu Dhabu Grand Prix to readers. It reads quite desperate too. Most of it mentioning how exciting the championship still is, and why spending thousands and thousands of pounds on flights and hotels and the race weekend and everything else at Abu Dhabi would make that even more exciting.

    1. @Electrolite – ha ha, F1 Racing is truly the tart of the motorsport press! I stopped buying it a few years ago, after reading a particularly gushing article on Nico Rosberg’s manly beauty which I would like to think was tongue-in-cheek, but I suspect was a deep crush on the part of the writer.

      1. @Electrolite @dirgegirl laugh all you want. Here in tha Netherlands they went bankrupt. After asking of you wanted money back or à completely different magazine called ‘Stuff’, about mobile phones and girls in bikini’s, they just ceased to exist – without giving me my money.

        Such is life…

    2. @electrolite

      I’ll take a look. But I still haven’t taken the June issue out of its postage wrapper, let alone any that came after that! I have a lot of catching up to do. Who’d like to read what was making news in June for me? :P

  5. So…Petrov got an invitation to ROC as a result of his
    winning every race in the 2002 Lada Cup?

    I guess “Race of Sham, Pay-Ins” just doesnt have quite the same ring to it…


    …I’m here all week, folks.

    1. Not a Lada laughs out of that one…

    2. He alson was faster than Alonso last year @ Abu Dhabi, that means that he was faster that a world champion

      1. @celeste He wasn’t any faster but he did do a damn good job of defending position!

        Did wonders for the Renault engine becoming a world champion ;)

  6. I have to say I’m with Button 100%. He may have lost his cool a bit, but he’s absolutely right that they should be asking him about his own performances, not Hamilton’s, and I would imagine Hamilton would probably agree as well. The constant questions Button must be putting up with are clearly insulting given that he’s currently the driver in the team (indeed the only driver on any team) that’s given Vettel a run for his money. I guess that’s just not as interesting for journalists to talk about as what’s going on in Hamilton’s head, or how his love life is. I often wonder if some of the F1 journalists even care about the racing itself, or if they’re only there to gossip and talk politics.

    1. He may have lost his cool a bit, but he’s absolutely right that they should be asking him about his own performances, not Hamilton’s

      Bear in mind that this article is being run by The Mirror. They’re a tabloid, so everything they say is sensationalised. Button may well be fed up with people asking him about Lewis Hamilton, but I doubt he lashed out at reporters the way the article suggests he did.

      1. Good point about it being the mirror, but even if Button did lash out like that, I say good for him! He has gone from strength to strength of late and it’s nice to hear something other than jumbled PR jargon and empty cliche quotes from a driver other than Webber.

      2. @Prisoner-Monkeys Pretty much this.

      3. @Prisoner-Monkeys

        I think I read one from The Sun before this. It was 10 times worse!

    2. Very simply, i don’t believe the Mirror here at all. No other outlet has reported this outburst, and the only way the mirror would, have an exclusive is if they got a one on one interview, which teams don’t really do for print journo’s (see repeated pictures of drivers sitting at a table with hacks and a pile of dictaphones in front of them).

      The article also doesn’t say when or to whom button made this comment. Rumour, unattributed sensationalist comment, and tabloid journalism. Not a good recipe. The maxim “print journalists are scum” serves me well in life, newspapers for the most part aren’t worth wrapping fish and chips in.

      1. newspapers for the most part aren’t worth wrapping fish and chips in.

        – especially these ones @hairs, as they have too many pictures that give off ink and colour your fish and chips :-P

      2. The 31-year-old, in the autumn of his career,

        This is the bit that got me.
        I love this stuff! Do they do Melbourne comedy festival?

      3. It’s also reported on, although they portray the comments in a slightly different light.

        1. Yes, they make it clear that’s all in good humour. So mirror leaves out à bit of context, but still, they just quote Button.

  7. CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management Richard Cregan: “We’ve established ourselves already as one of the best circuits in the world and we welcome more races into the championship. It makes the championship maintain its level as the pinnacle of motorsport championship. We are not concerned about that. We offer our help and support to new circuits if we can. Come the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, everybody will see we are still up there with the best circuit in Formula One today.”

    massive inferiority complex, no grasp of the fundamentals, and tacky. classic stereotype material.

  8. The Yas Marina circuit has to be the most pathetic race track ever designed. Over 1 billion spent on the track- a track, I remind you, that was designed by Tilke for maximum overtaking- and yet, Alonso can’t pass Petrov lap after lap in 2010. The track is just a glorified car park with a 5 star hotel in the middle of it. The government of Abu Dhabi and the UAE should take their money and sponsorship space to great race tracks and help them pay their sanctioning fees, while plastering advertisements for their tourism board all over the race tracks. I’d appreciate Abu Dhabi much more if they did that. Or, they could have just designed a decent racing circuit. I may not even watch the race. It’s just gonna be Vettel sprinting off into the distance while everyone else lines up in procession anyway.

  9. The Race Of Champions is actually an interesting event. It might be just fun for the actual F1 drivers and other famous racers but last year it was won by Filipe Albuquerque who was very low-profile before but then he got a DTM drive for 2011. I’m not sure if the RoC success was decisive but the fact is that Albuquerque’s career has been going only upwards since then.

    1. Albuquerque rules. I watched that, I was so amazed at his driving!

  10. I don’t know why Renault seem to feel they have a dilemma with Kubica. None of their other drivers are as good, the best drivers are tied up, and their car isn’t fast enough.

    Concentrate on fixing the car, use one of the 90 or so desperate “reserve drivers” they’ve got on the books, and boot them back out of the car when Kubica recovers. Simple, but Eric seems to want to make life complicated for himself. Again.

    1. But Kubica is out of contract. If Renault shift focus, Kubica becomes a free agent – other teams could easily pick him up.

      1. I think what @hairs meant to say with that was, @prisoner-monkeys, that Boullier should not make a point of waiting for a driver.
        He can prepare and have two of their drivers at hand in the car, with the provision that one of them will be back to 3rd driver the moment Kubica returns.

        I guess the real problem for Boullier is, he would like to put Grosjean in the car, but not risk putting him in and then dropping him during the year, as that would surely put an end to his perspecitve as an F1 driver for good.

        1. @bascb I don’t see why he’d want to do that either. GrosJean was dropped into Renault on the back of a dominant gp2 campaign and was not up to the job.since then, the logic appears to be “he’s had a dominant gp2 campaign”. Still doesn’t mean a lot has changed.

          The only reason to do it is that Eric is his manager, which means Eric has his own interests in front if the team’s.

          1. Seems its something with the team then, Briatore was much the same ;-)

            Although with the team owner being the same as the owner of Gravity management, its not just Boullier that wants Grosjean in, I guess @hairs

            I think its going to be Grosjean (because of Gravity) and Petrov (having a contract in place) starting the season, maybe Senna kept on as a 3rd driver. Then if/when Kubica gets back they drop whoever is performing worse

  11. Petrov, the Lada Cup champion! Woop Woop!

    That Button article isn’t as angry as it makes it out to be. It shows there is still such a great deal of respect between those two drivers. It must be so frustrating for Button though, this year he has finally showed his worth even more so than his championship year and yet he is constantly being asked about Lewis Hamilton’s mind state.

    Button is looking like he is going to beat Hamilton and it will probably be forgotten.

    1. Button is looking like he is going to beat Hamilton and it will probably be forgotten.

      Indeed. Even if Button DNFs in Abu Dhabi and Brazil and Hamilton finishes second in both races, Button will still beat him.

      1. Hamilton finishes second in both races

        Because we know Vettel is going to win!

  12. Don’t you just despise the esteemed tabloids of this country?

    1. What’s more baffling is the sheer amount of people that buy them. Humans really are dumb creatures.

  13. Jenson Button angered by constant questions about Lewis Hamilton

    A tabloid running a article full of questions about Hamilton with that headline.

    Oh that’s a good’n.

  14. I really hope we can win both Nations & World finals,But of course we all know who the favourites are for those respective trophies.

  15. The beauty of F1Fanatic is that we get to share our opinions whether agreed upon or in complete contrast. I have read what is being said about Abu Dahbi and I couldn’t agree more with how off base most opinions are about this magnificent racing facility.

    It really is a beautiful track, having many features that challenge teams and drivers in how they approach what best suits their individual cars. The transistion from daylight to dark is also unique. I also think the pit exit through the tunnel and up onto the track is clever and solves the problem of this at several other venues.

    We can’t expect to have every track be like Monaco or Spa or Monza. When you consider all events there are usually a few great spots at each track and yet at the same time there are also some areas that seem rather boring or not well thought out. As another generation of cars come into the fold these great and not so great areas of the tracks will become more difficult or even easier to master.

    So what is wrong with having a broad selection of race tracks that challenge the teams in a variety of situations? Whether it be carved out of a pristine environment or squeezed into the most unlikely of city confines what difference does it make if one track is the way it is and the next is unique also.

    Abu Dahbi isn’t the greatest race on the calendar but is special in its own way and brings the fans something different and something unique.

    What is your favorite event and why??

    For me it is Spa, were the test of what humans can do in purpose built racing machines is put to the limit and the location of this particular race in its natural environment makes it number one in the world. great for drivers , great for teams and great for fans of Formula One.

  16. Whoa, nice stuff from Button!

  17. whatever hapnd to the bit where vettel went across the white line while entering the pits? Wasn’t that illegal? I dont remember seeing anything that hapnd about it.

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