7 September 2011
Q&A - Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renault GP
Vitaly Petrov gets set for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
Two more points for you in Spa – were there more positives to take away than negatives?
Yes, it was definitely a positive weekend because, if you cast your mind back, we had some difficult races before. So, we were content with being back in the top 10 and hopeful that we can push on from there. It was an interesting weekend in Spa, and we faced challenging, varied weather conditions which really tested us but overall we tackled what was thrown at us, well.
You now have a new race driver team mate – what's your relationship like with Mr. Senna?
I've known Bruno for quite a long time from my days in GP2. Back then, we were not close friends, but since he joined us this year he's been in every briefing and we've eaten together, talked a lot and developed a good relationship. He's a good mate, and he's also a talented driver, which was evident in Belgium. He demonstrated his skills there for all to see.
Did you feel any added pressure when he out-qualified you, or do you just view this as healthy competition?
No, I think it's just healthy competition. I had a few issues with the car in Q3 but I think Bruno deserved it, he really did. He had a strong qualifying and proved his ability.
What are your thoughts on the Italian Grand Prix?
Well, Monza is a very interesting track, where you need a different level of downforce; you also need a very strong engine and solid brakes. There aren't many corners but every single centimetre of the track is critical for lap time. Braking, traction and exits of corners – Monza is all about precision.
It's a special race with a lot of motor racing fans – do you consider this one of the 'big ones'?
This is a big race, no two ways about it. I think it is quite similar to England; just like Silverstone is full of English fans, Monza is full of Italian Ferrari fans! They just love motorsport, love the circuit and love Formula 1.
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