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Petrov holds onto Renault seat for two more seasons
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Petrov holds onto Renault seat for two more seasons
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Dec 2010   |  2:08 pm GMT  |  106 comments

Petrov: In F1 for two more years (Darren Heath)

The Lotus Renault GP Team has confirmed today that it has signed Vitaly Petrov for another two seasons.

This is a great vote of confidence in the Russian, who was a rather erratic performer in 2010 with some very strong showings, such as Hungary, but also a tendency to lose the car when on slick tyres on a damp track. But he showed enough in the closing stages of the season to retain the drive and now has the security of knowing that he is in for 2012 as well as 2011. So he can build on the positives from this year.

As well as stringing a whole weekend together, rather than just individual moments of strong performance such as practice, qualifying or race, Petrov’s biggest challenge will be to get closer to the pace of his team mate Robert Kubica.

The gap between the two in terms of average grid position across the season was the largest in the field this year; seven places. Kubica averaged 6th place, Petrov 13th. His low points score also contributed to Renault losing the chance of fourth place in the Constructors, as a second driver would normally be expected to score 50% of the points of the lead driver, which would have put them on a par with Mercedes.

Team boss Gerard Lopez was very keen for the Russian to stay on board as he opens up the Russian market to the team, a lucrative one in which Lopez’ company Genii Capital is already very active. With a Russian Grand Prix on the calendar for 2014, the Lotus Renault GP team, as it is now called, is well placed to benefit.

Lopez said. “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.”

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106 Comments
  1. Vinicius says:

    Money talks, talent walks.

    1. Andy W says:

      and when both come together?

  2. Frenchie says:

    Shame. I would have preferred seeing a driver at Renault based on driving ability only (read Hulkenberg).

    By the way James, will you now be referring ‘Ferrari’ as ‘Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’? You might want to just call them ‘Renault’ for now. :-)

    1. Andy W says:

      Petrov did as well as Hulkenburg did this season… both drivers showed some real spark and both drivers made a hash of things at times… Its all part of being a Rookie, 09 and 10 have been very hard years to be rookies because of the lack of testing / development time that these new drivers have.

      I think it will be a great shame if Hulkenburg doesn’t get a drive next season as I think he has done enough to merit one, I just hope it doesn’t come at the price of di Resta at Force India…

    2. Solo says:

      Yeah if you don’t start referring to all teams with their full names including all sponsors and staff then cut the shit with Lotus Renault.
      It’s Renault.
      It looks like someone is friendly with Bahar.

  3. Donuts says:

    James Allen –

    Do you know what budget Renault F1 had this year, compared to the other top contenders? It seems that Renault are far from the other conserning financial backing. For Robert Kubica’s sake, I really hope they have enough money to provide him with a competitive car.

    Thanks

    1. Andy C says:

      You’d have to imagine it was pretty tight as they asked Bernie for an advance mid season…..

  4. NamedMyKidAyrton says:

    Good for him, although it’s hard to avoid thinking this deal has as much to do with sponsorship as with driving talent. In my book Petrov is not necessarily a better driver than Hulkenberg, for instance.

  5. That’s great news!

    OK so he didn’t set the world on fire for first part of season, but he progressed… and I was worried that another F1 team was about to throw out a driver before giving him time

    I only think its fair to give a new guy like him at least 2 years before reviewing, unless he really mucks things up.

    and good for him for sticking up for himself against Fernando!

  6. jonrob says:

    The team is registered as Renault thanks, not Lotus Renault.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      “”I am very happy to continue with the team and proud to be representing Lotus Renault GP for the 2011 and 2012 seasons,” said Petrov…”

      On the other hand, the same F1 official site refers to the team as “Renault F1 Team”

      http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drivers/teams/6/

      I think they are changing the official name as of 1st Jan 2010, aren’t they?

      1. jonrob says:

        “I think they are changing the official name as of 1st Jan 2010, aren’t they?”
        Nor 1st Jan 2011
        No I don’t think they are allowed to unless all the other teams agree and that’s certainly not going to happen.

        Of course they ought to be called the “Lada, Proton, Genii, Lotus, Renault GP team” if we are putting the sponsors name first. The only team sponsored by three motor manufacturers.

      2. Galapago555 says:

        Simply brilliant, jonrob.Many thanks.

        Merry Xmas!! :-D

    2. Frenchie says:

      Ha ha… I made the same remark. Obviously, not the only one who spotted that oddity.

    3. Tom (London) says:

      I think Lada deservers a mention too! Presumably Renault will want to be known as the Lada Lotus Renault GP Team!

  7. Pawel says:

    Money Counts

  8. Dmitry says:

    Absolutely awful idea.

    I totally agree with Verstappen – Petrov has been and remains the worst driver in the field, so leaving him in the team for another two years is a big mistake.

    I don’t believe, that his “rookieness” is the problem – he just can’t drive. He and his manager can only constantly whine and find ridiculous explanations for the things Petrov made on track.
    He bought his way into the team, having neither substantial skills nor talent. And to me it looks like he remained there only by the power of money.
    To make matter worse – he won’t do better next year and the year after next year. I can only hope, that Renault placed some clever points in his contract and will be able to sack him as soon as he screws another 3 times in a row.

    1. Tim. says:

      He is not that bad…he just needs to stop whacking things

    2. Peter C says:

      It’s interesting (even ironic) that Jos Verstappen should think Petrov is the worst driver in the field.

    3. Egor says:

      If Petrov couldn’t drive, Alonso would’ve been the champion

      1. Tim. says:

        NO he really didn’t have anything to do with that.

  9. Kenny says:

    This is really good to see. Yes, he had a few large errors but the mediocre returns of Schumacher and Massa from periods out of racing (be it self-enforced or injury induced) shows how difficult it is for seasoned pros to return to Formula One, let alone a rookie. F1 is becoming a “one-and-done” rotating door for rookies, so it is very good to see one keep his drive.

  10. Alex says:

    I bet Hulkenberg wishes he was Russian right now and I bet so do Renault. But hey, kudos to Petrov, he has some real potential and hopefully he can really prove himself in the coming years.

    1. Williams4Ever says:

      I bet Hulkenberg wishes he was Russian right now and I bet so do Renault.
      >> More than that Hulk must be wishing he had hired Oksana Kossatschenko as his manager and not “simply fleece 15%” Willi Weber.

      Begs a question do the “Driver managers” really have some clout that they claim or they simply 15% blokes who live off as parasites at cost of their drivers.. Flav are you listening

      1. Galapago555 says:

        I’ve read that Flav gets much more than a simple 15%…

  11. Young Slinger says:

    Russian market opening up? Hmmm. How much is that the factor?

    1. Tim. says:

      That is …why he is in

  12. sw6569 says:

    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….!

  13. Stevie P says:

    I’m pleased for Vitaly :-) A 2 season deal is good too, as it should give him confidence and a sense of security. But, obviously, if he’s terrible then he won’t see the 2 years out – and someone else will be in the seat – but I think this is a good move by (Lotus) Renault as Kubica won’t feel threatened by him and we’ve seen Robert give his best performances when he himself feels No1 in the team.

    1. Mario says:

      My thoughts exactly, thanks for voicing it out.

  14. Bec says:

    It was a no-brainer to keep him, not only for the vast un-tapped Russian market, but for the fact he was the most cost effective driver of 2010.

    27 points at no cost to Renault, a sharp contrast to many of the other drivers out there.

    1. d-d says:

      your counting ignores points potentially lost (points = money), cost of cars repaired, image damage etc. But no doubt that wider business opportunities for Genii and Proton were what really mattered.

    2. DK says:

      Hopefully Petrov and his sponsors picked up all the repair bills in 2010 as well.

  15. Robert McKay says:

    “But he showed enough in the closing stages of the season to retain the drive and now has the security of knowing that he is in for 2012 as well as 2011.”

    Presumably he’s as secure as any under-performing driver in F1 with a longer term contract would be – i.e. if he doesn’t perform much better in 2011 there won’t be a 2012 for him at Renault.

    Still, I think he did enough to deserve another crack at it. I also think di Grassi did enough to deserve another crack, but he had a slower, much more unreliable car to try and impress in. And there’s no lucrative Russian market link. Such is the way the cookie crumbles in F1.

    Whither Hulkenberg, though? Surely too good to sit on the sidelines in 2011, but I don’t see where else to go for him?

  16. Ben G says:

    Very pleased for him, well done.

    Hopefully Boullier and co will now cut him some slack.

  17. David Newsome says:

    Good news for Formula 1. Too many rookies have been dumped too quickly in recent years. It is nice to see Petrov has the chance to establish himself. Perhaps now the pressure is relieved, he will produce more weekends like Hungary, Korea, or Abu Dhabi. Yes he dropped it in Korea but he had been hugely impressive until then.

    I like Petrov. He has a good nature about him. Here’s to a happy, error-free 2011.

  18. Trone says:

    James, why do you refer to Renault as Lotus Renault in this post, while you did not refer to Virgin as Marussia Virgin in your previous post? Where’s the logic?

    1. James Allen says:

      Fair enough..however I mentioned Marussia, you will find…

      1. unoc says:

        I thought Lotus is still only a Sponser in the title like Mercedes Petronas and that were we got Lotus Reanult (Sponser Team-noengine) as opposed to Team Lotus-Renault (nosponser Team-Engine), or has this changed?

      2. Hervé says:

        James,

        although Lotus “purist” will do whatever they can to prevent “Lotus Renault” be called that way, let’s not forget that Lotus seems to be a significant shareholder of the whole team.

        It’s not like they are just sticking logos on the car.

        The team registered as “BMW Sauber” has been called “Sauber” by almost everybody but FOM whithout any complaint, so let’s try another way to solve the Lotus issue :-)

      3. unoc says:

        Your lacking comon sense. With two teams called Lotus Renault it makes sense to continue doing what we have done for other teams in the past.

        You don’t say will Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro sack Massa and with Hulkenberg be resever at Mercedes Petronas.

        You leave off te sponser and the engine maker.
        e.g. Torro Rosso-Ferrari becomes Torro Rosso. Another, AT&T Williams-Toyota became Williams. And as such Lotus Renault will become Renault (the lotus in lotus renault here is not a team name part but a sponser name part), while Team Lotus-Renault will be known as Lotus (Renault is the engine aker name here and as such it will be elft off like Renault is left off when referring to Red Bull Racing-Renault).

        It’s only going to become confusing when some people start using a sponser title in the as part of the team name when it isn’t.

        Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro = Ferrari
        Vodaphone McLaren-Mercedes = McLaren
        Red Bull Racing-Renault = Red Bull (racing)
        Mercedes Petronas = Mercedes
        Lotus Renault = Renault
        AT&T Williams-Cosworth = Williams
        Force India-Mercedes = Mercedes
        Sauber-Ferrari = Sauber
        Torro Rosso-Ferrari = Torro Rosso
        Lotus-Renault = Lotus
        Marussia Virgin Racing-Cosworth = Virgin
        HRT-Cosworth = **** kidding… HRT

        People it’s not rocket science.

  19. John M says:

    Congrats to Petrov. In my opinion, it is deserved (well, at least one more year). It is so difficult for rookies to break in these days without the ability to test during the season. I think he did a credible job. He was erratic at times, but that’s to be expected from a rookie. In part, I’d say people are under the pretty unreal expectation that rookies are able to step into a car and nearly win a championship the way Hamilton was able to in his rookie season. So, I’m okay with Petrov keeping his ride. I think he’ll get better.

    That being said, I don’t think he’ll be able to match Kubica. Maybe once in a while, but in my opinion, Kubica is one of the top drivers…he’s only lacking the right equipment to win consistently. I see two reasons why the gap was so big between Petrov and Kubica this year:

    1) Petrov is a rookie,
    2) Kubica is that good.

    I don’t think the gap would have been as big if Petrov weren’t up against one of the biggest talents in F1. But, I admit, I’ve always been a Kubica fan, so I may be biased.

  20. Eric Weinraub says:

    Petrov Holds on to Renault seat for 2 more years!?!?!?! Are you kidding! Headline should read Petrov rents Renault seat for 2 more years!

    1. Tim. says:

      ……and what is wrong with that, it is the times, not enough great drivers out there.

    2. Williams4Ever says:

      Every Driver is a Pay driver one way or other… Some times the teams market their drivers and woo sponsors and for those teams that don’t, drivers pay the cost through their personal sponsors.

      Even the high and mighty names like Schumacher(Michael) and Lewis Hamilton started as pay drivers albeit they managed to get “Mercedes” and “McLarens” to pay for their drives up the motorsports food chain. In lack of right opportunity , right teams and right cars they would have been unknowns, talent or no talent….

      Its sick to see F1 fans act as snobs and make it sound that pay drivers have no place in F1 ( History of F1 is littered with examples to contrary) and that pay drivers are simply no good playboys just in F1 due to their deep pockets.

      On contrary I feel sorry for these guys for falling in the “Bernie Trap” about F1 being “Pinnacle of motorsports” and having career in F1 is be all end all for every racing driver.

      I am sure these guys can make decent living driving in other racing categories which have their own unique challenges, only thing lacking is they are not being marketed properly and reaching out to wider audience…

  21. jeroen says:

    It’s must be a money thing. If Petrov was a South African he would have never had a second chance for two (!) more years.

  22. Terry Shepherd says:

    I’m pleased about this, I thought he showed real ability on occasion this season. With two definite (well, as definite as it ever is) seasons to polish up his act, I expect him to be a very respectable performer.

    1. Andy C says:

      I think he could be, but it’s always Market opps first with Lopez. They could be racing donkeys on the beach….

      Anyway, good luck to vitaly. I’d like to see him do well or at least get a fair bite at the cherry.

    2. Criscles says:

      Bwahaha – “…polish up his act..” Quite the inadvertent reference in light of Kubica’s nationality.;)

  23. Adam Taylor says:

    Surprised given his consistent mistakes.

  24. Christopher Hobbs says:

    Well at least thats one proton renault that the Team Lotus boys will beat! Ho Ho Ho!

  25. Lilla My says:

    Despite being a rookie, he might have done better on a few ocassions. His Abu Dhabi performance showed that he’s capable of not making mistakes, pitty that he needed the whole season to learn it. Lopez probably knows a bit more about all the circumstances, performances and F1 in general than me ;-), so I won’t question his assertion that Petrov does have a potential, but I somehow can’t get rid of the impression that his greatest strengh lies outside of the track – in his sponsors. At least Renault will have the money to develop the car. Unfortunatelly, lots of this money covers the costs of Petrov’s car being repaired over and over again…

    1. Mario says:

      lol, very amusing point at the end there.

      As I remember Petrov said last year that his money comes strait from his dad’s pocket, who earned it running hotels, and none comes from any other sponsors. I doubt his dad made another substantial sum to support his son. More probably Lopez has got a feedback from Russian companies that Petrov’s presence in F1 generated some movement among consumers and clients, hence we will see him again.

      By now we should have got used to the idea that F1 is not just pure sport. This year alone we have got overwhelming evidence that it is also a checkered board on which business people of this world play their corporate chess games.

      Is this right or wrong? I’d say it’s OK. All we have got to worry about is if our favourite came first, haven’t we?

      1. Lilla My says:

        I think the reason for having a Russian driver in a team is the attention he can bring in his country. He’s got the Russian government behind him and as the sport is now noticing the Russia’s potential (not only Russian GP but also the Winter Olympics in 2014) it seems very profitable to have a driver from this country.
        I guess, if your not an established team (like Ferrari or McLaren) with ambitions, you have to balance it out: you can either have two good drivers, get some results and then maybe attract some sponsors (however, attracting them if the car is not too fast and you have no money for the developement might be problematic) or have one good driver and the other one not the best, but guaranteeing sponsors.
        The Renault probably won’t be the best car next season, but maybe in two or three years time they’ll be able to fight for something more than a solid midfield.
        I hope Petrov will show next season that he’s at least to some extent worth the trust the team gave him and that his money will help them build a decent car, because I would like to finally see what caliber of a driver Kubica is. And the best way to prove it is to give him a fast car and make him fight with the bests.

      2. Mario says:

        I mostly agree with you, but I beg to differ on the Kubica thing. He is a true top gun driving skills wise, only lacks the superstar pose which combined with his nationality may explain why he seems to be less attractive than the likes of Alonso, Hamilton or Button just to name a few. Hopefully this will fade with time as people grow keener on the things from East, as you mentioned above.

        And Petrov may as well very much surprise every one… I’d like him to, that is.

      3. Lilla My says:

        Re your comment below: I know that Kubica is a top driver and he’s the same nationality as me, so I have to support him ;-). Yet, he hasn’t have the opportunity to show his true colours yet. What I mean is that he has never had a really great team mate to cope with, nor has he ever had to deal with the real pressure of fighting for the WDC – he was in the battle for some time in 2008 but then he was out of the championship fight due to lack of improvements of the car, so he still has to prove himself in the real rush. However, I believe he has everything to be on top and that’s why I hope Renault will produce a winning car quite soon. He may lack the star-like quality, but he’s there to race and not to be a star. I personally like this rough attitude he presents, though I understand that many fans may not be much impressed with it.

        Petrov should be better next year having some experience now. It would be also good for Kubica to have somebody who would push him at least to some extent. This year, he didn’t have to bother at all about the other side of the garage.

      4. Mario says:

        I know what you mean! His time will come. I cheer for him too. btw I come from the same land, so: wesolych swiat!

  26. noahracer says:

    Good for him. I like his aggression.

  27. tom says:

    “Team boss Gerard Lopez was very keen for the Russian to stay on board as he opens up the Russian market to the team, a lucrative one in which Lopez’ company Genii Capital is already very active.” MONEY TALKS… I really doubt that he will come close to Kubica next year, but I wish him well. I’d like to see him crossing the finish line in point scoring positions more often.

    1. Tim. says:

      How bout just crossing the finish line period.

  28. Malcom says:

    I believe that his drive at Abu Dahbi saved his seat at Renault…..congratulations to Vitaly.

    I guess this means Kimi will remain in the WRC, rolling cars over on their hoods.

  29. Stone the Crows says:

    Glad to see he’s returning, he was erratic, but shows quite a lot of potential. I’m sure Fernando Alonso is thrilled.

    1. NamedMyKidAyrton says:

      Actually, I do think Alonso is thrilled. Competitive animal that he is, the Spaniard will be looking for revenge. Better served cold, they say…

  30. Malcom says:

    Sorry…I meant to inculde that, I am one who hoped for Kimi’s return to F1.

  31. Andy C says:

    Sounds more like a sponsorship tie-up for 2 years.

    I can’t help but think that mr Lopez thinks of marketing first, and racing second.

    Let’s have more racers like Frank, Patrick, Peter in f1.

    Nothing against vitally petrov as I think he does have potential. But let’s not pretend this two year deal is about anything other than opening up Russian purse strings.

    1. DK says:

      Don’t forget to include Mr. Bahar in this.

    2. khan says:

      oh yeah, what did frank and patrick do?
      Throw out hulkenburg, a great talent and bring in a rookie with me.

      1. Andy C says:

        You are missing the point. I was commenting on how most of mr lopez statement was about marketing opps.

        I didn’t see Williams press statement saying what a great opportunity to work with our Venezuelan friends.

        I think if you believe Williams are not racers at heart you are mistaken. Characters like Frank, Patrick, Ron came into f1 to win races and go racing, not to sell electronics or to markets.

  32. kowalsky says:

    james, do you think petrov is better than de cesaris, or on a similar level.

      1. Tim. says:

        Crafty answer. :)

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      There’s a comparison for you.

  33. Lilla My says:

    James, a bit off topic, but a question about another Renault driver: do you think Romain Grosjean wasn’t good enough for F1 or he was just unlucky to arrive in the team in such a turbulent moment and so he was dumped more because of the circumstances than his performance? I thought he wasn’t that bad (I had an impression that sometimes he was closer to Alonso than Piquet). Maybe he wasn’t the greatest talent of all times, but I guess he deserved some more time.

    1. James Allen says:

      Never easy to come in mid season. Also no testing didn’t help. I think he’s one of those very aggressive drivers who needs time to find his limit in F1. In another era he may have settled into it, but not in F1 as it is today. Also he is painfully thin and I often wondered if he had the strength/stamina

      1. Peter C says:

        Painfully thin? Stamina? Sounds like Peter Crouch to me.

  34. Brian says:

    I am surprised that he got a two-year deal with most of the newer drivers seemingly on one-year-with-options type arrangements these days. Petrov had a few decent drives last year but no more than that although the testing ban does make it extremely hard for the newbies.

    But what will Renault/Lotus-Renault or whatever you care to call them do next year if the crashing does not abate and they are effectively stuck with him for another season?

    What I would really like to know is whether or not Group Lotus has any actual involvement in driver selection for this team or not as this was the predicted line-up prior the Lotus tie-up…using allusions to illustrious Lotus history such as the JPS livery surely entails selecting the best two available drivers if you want to be taken seriously as THE Lotus…(Group Lotus 0 Team Lotus 1).

  35. I’m a bit undecided on Petrov but I trust he’ll do better in 2011; when I met him for first time in Jerez during winter testing he seemed a bit confused and didn’t really know what to make of F1 but later on he was more focused on the job/more at home in the F1 paddock. Lack of testing is what making life difficult for rookies; on top of everything, Petrov didn’t have previous career in karting like most guys do these days. On the subject of money – almost every driver in F1 has personal sponsors or has a powerful manager, etc., it’ no use spitting and claiming that a more traditional European driver would be a better choice just because. We don’t have any North American drivers in F1 and it has a lot to do with lack of sponsorship. It’s motor racing for Mr E’s sake, F1 cars don’t fall from the sky – they cost money.

  36. Chris Orr says:

    I like the first post, Money talks and talent walks.

    I feel Nico deserves his place, as does Paul Di Resta

    Its interesting to see in this supposed age of cost cutting to make f1 more affordable, and budgets are allegedly being reduced, we are still having pay drivers in f1.

  37. stuart fenton says:

    He made mistakes, but on a visual level, he was a class act. He through some great overtaking moves this year. He’s exciting to watch, in a way Hulkenberg isn’t. I just want to watch skill and clever overtaking in driving, not just FAST perfect driving!

  38. The business aspect of F1 makes me mad at times. There is no reason he is in that seat other than a team owner salivating at the thought of suckling at the nipple of russian wealth. I hope he rolls it, knocks the wheels off, damages it or stalls it at every single race. I hope the costs of re-building the car far outway the new income – Nothing more than they deserve.

  39. Tim Horton says:

    I think some of you should relax about the whole 2 year contract. There will be more performance clauses in this contract than Russian gangsters in Monaco. If Renault want rid, it wont be a problem.

  40. Koby fan says:

    No surprises here…other than the 2 year contract. Ironic for an ex-Renault works team that they don’t have a French driver even in their reserve driver list. Is Kubica only signed for 2011?

  41. Maggie__7 says:

    I expectes this news. I feel sorry, that Petrov, who was the worst driver in 2010 signs a contract for 2011 and 2012…
    Petrov (for team), alas, is useless.

    Team Orders is coming back, so:
    “Vitaly, Robert is faster than you…”

    1. John O'S says:

      that’ll never happen. Under what circumstances will petrov be ahead of kubica?

  42. Alan Dove says:

    Fairplay to Petrov. I think Renault are just being sensible here. With a few more years in F1, Petrov will gain the necessary experience to bring his competence level up. I think Petrov will probably be quite a valuable asset in the end.

    However, I think the real story over the winter is how a driver, who in his rookie season is ranked 8th by the team bosses, and has clearly demonstrated enough talent to progress forwards, while under massive financial pressure, is sitting without a drive for 2011.

    (deep breath)

    Is F1 really become a place where a talent like the Hulk is going to get chucked aside? Really? Has it really got THAT bad? We are now relying on Force India or HRT to save some of F1′s credibility.

    (Not that anyone will notice once they role out the cars for the first race lol)

  43. Frenchie says:

    As FakeCharlieWhiting would put it, Petrov will bounce back next year. Just not sure out of which wall!

  44. Peter says:

    this now proves renault is certainly not the team it used to be.

    he was consistently inconsistent.

    seems a different vibe to this team compared to the benetton / renault days.

    1. Glen says:

      Are you sure?
      Renault seems to do better when they have one dominant driver. I’m thinking of the Shumacher or Alonso years.

  45. zombie says:

    I am glad he got another shot. Everybody and his uncle had written him off before the start of 2010, i think he did show plenty of sparks of brilliance. I am quite certain he’ll trail his much acclaimed teammate next season too, but he’ll be the perfect no.2. And if he really disappoints all season, hope they’ll replace him with Hulkenberg/Heidfeld in 2012. Goodluck commodore Petrov!

  46. Vannman says:

    Renualt have one top quality driver, who will win the wdc one day, why gamble?

    Take the readies and fingers crossed petrov might do ok and not upset the applecart.

  47. james b says:

    This is an interesting decision and there is no doubt his finacial backing helps. Petrov had a tough season and made many elementary mistakes. However he was up against Kubica and although he was dominated he showed flashes of talent and his drives in Abu Dhabi and Hungary showed promise.

    In a way he reminds me a bit of Massa when Massa started out. He always showed talent but just had an ability to make mistakes but with time Massa certainly matured well. Time will tell and I’m glad he has been given an extended deal.

    1. Shane Stobie says:

      Couldn’t agree more with you in regards to Massa

  48. Shane Stobie says:

    Like a lot of other people here I would have to agree that it’s good to see a rookie get a 2nd chance. Far to many just get punted without getting a fair chance to prove themselves.

    I must say that Petrov probably isn’t the most deserving of a 2nd chance. Some of the mistakes he made were absolute howlers & you have to say that without his great drive at Abu Dhabi & that Russian backing he would be out the door.

    Mr Petrov should consider himself a very lucky fellow, hopefully he can replicate his Abu Dhabi heroics a bit more regularly in 2011.

  49. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Stunning drive in Abu Dhabi and has not compared to shabbily with Kubica.

    Well deserved seat for next year.

  50. Chapor says:

    I think it is good that he got another shot at it. He got himself noticed and even though Petrov messed up quite a lot, he undoubtedly has talent. And lots of it. He just needs to be allowed to show it. He is/was a rookie and should be allowed certain amends. If he was a seasoned driver that messed up that badly I wouldn’t be so kind.
    And it does seem that there is very little in team friction between Petrov and Kubica which IMHO helps create a stable team environment to work in. I am quite sure that Renault/ Lotus will be a top performer next year… Along with Merc GP hopefully being a better performer than last year together with Ferrari, McLaren and RB it will be a scorcher of a season… Can’t wait.

  51. JohnBt says:

    Bit by bit we will never witness the best F1 drivers. Gone are the days where talent rules. Now, money dictates.

    I’m hanging in here because there are still talented drivers but as time goes by in the next decade I doubt it’ll be the same.

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t agree. Look at the grid from the late 1990s, Diniz etc. The difference now is that Petrov, Maldonado etc are GP2 race winners. It’s easy to get cynical but the standard of these guys is higher than in the past

      1. onyx says:

        Just think how much better they could be with some in season testing!

  52. Adam Taylor says:

    I think it shows how important it is of where you come from in this day and age of F1. I feel that if your talented, but have no money and are from Andorra or Jamaica you dont have a chance (although it would be a good film if you did)

  53. Dave B says:

    Do the same people moaning on here about Petrov buying into F1 have the same sentiments about Alonso and Ferrari? Effectively Fernando did the same there with Santander bankrolling the whole thing. Yes you can argue Alonso also would get the drive on merit, but that’s not the way the sport is run any more, at least not with most teams. All are looking to their drivers to bring in some cash and they don’t really care on the means. Even Mclaren are playing on this with the Hamilton/Button pairing a gold-mine for Vodafone marketing.

    I don’t think Petrov’s that bad, certainly he showed promise and I rate him above the STR RB drivers to name a couple.

  54. Mr G says:

    I have read all the comments here and in the past regarding the less experienced drivers, the rookies and we are missing a point.
    If a driver is really talented he will find space in F1, no doubt.
    Examples like Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton should show that if any of the team principals think a driver is really talented and outstanding they will do whatver is necessary to secure his service.
    Hamilton came in F1 and he was straight away a top driver.
    Vettel showed in Toro Rosso that he was outstanding and he is now WDC.
    Alonso has been fighting for the Driver World title for the last 7 years.
    All the rest of the drivers are very good drivers but not as good as the best.
    Modern F1 is different from 10-15 years ago, the technology is much more complex and the actual feedback that drivers are getting from the teams is much more precise and actual.
    The drivers need to be more in tune with the car and the technology than before to actually understand what the car needs to go faster.
    I always wonder what Ayrton Senna could do in a modern car where it is possible to produce a much more precise fine tuning of the general set up.
    And I think also, a driver of his quality would be unbeatable in damp or wet condition, because of his ability.

    Any thoughts James and the rest of the bloggers ???!!!

    1. James Allen says:

      The best drivers are always the best, cream rises to the top – always

  55. Lilla My says:

    James, one more question about Renault. Some time ago Flagman Vodka became a sponsor of the Renault team. If I’m correct, they had their logo on the R30. Meanwhile, Ferrari removed the barcode from their livery because apparently it looked too much like a cigarette pack. Is it logical? Both, cigarettes and vodka are stimulants, why can you then have one on your car but not the other?

    1. James Allen says:

      Tobacco advertising is banned. Alcohol isn’t yet, in most countries, although there are codes of conduct etc, as far as I know

  56. JBWDC2009 says:

    Hi James,

    Have you read/heard this at all – http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/88759 ? What do you make of this and do you think this will have any significant effect?

    Cheers

  57. Paul H says:

    A good call in my opinion, as I feel with the restrictions now in place on testing it is only after two seasons that a driver can really be judged, unless they are just so inept it is blatantly obvious. Next season will be even harder for rookies to shine with the additional tasks of Kers and movable wings. Despite this being largely decided on marketing and promotional revenue, I think Petrov showed enough ability in the latter half of the season to demonstrate the ability he exhibited in his GP2 career to earn another season. Wish Williams could have afforded to do the same with Hulkenberg although I do agree that the best drivers always make it. Great to see Sir Frank gain recognition on SPOTY, a true inspiration!

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