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Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renault GP – Q&A

11 October 2011

Q:
How did it feel to be back amongst the points in Japan?

Vitaly Petrov:
It was a good feeling and I am satisfied with how I drove over the course of the three days. I was pleased with my pace in the practice sessions and I managed to secure a respectable position in qualifying, which gave me a strong chance of being on the points board again. Did I capitalise on the grid position I had? Not as much as I would have liked, no. I thought I could have been in the hunt for seventh or eighth, but our strategy played out reasonably in the end. It was evidence again that our car adapts well to the faster circuits.

Q:
You pulled out your best tricks near the end of the race, passing the Force India cars along the way…

Vitaly Petrov:
Yes, I enjoyed the last phase of the race because I was able to use the soft tyres well to pass Paul (Di Resta) and Adrian (Sutil) and close in on Sergio (Perez). Throughout the first stages of the race I wasn't able to make much ground on the cars in front because I had to look after the tyres, but I knew that as I got closer to the chequered flag I would be able to get back in the top 10.

Q:
Your result gave the team a bit more breathing space in the battle for fifth place in the Constructors' Championship – how important were those two points?

Vitaly Petrov:
I think they were crucial. Extending our lead (in fifth place) was target number one last weekend, and we achieved that so we can have no complaints from that perspective.

Q:
Now it's the Korean Grand Prix – have you got some good momentum behind you to get an even better result there?

Vitaly Petrov:
Yes, I have momentum and confidence behind me, but I'm fully mindful that it will be a different proposition to Suzuka. Some of it is driven at high speed, but there are also a few second gear corners too, which our car won't be so keen on. It was quite a dirty circuit last year, but I expect that to be less of an issue this time around. We will collectively put our thinking caps on again to see how we can get the most from the weekend.


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