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Petrov favourite to win Renault race?

GP2 runner-up Vitaly Petrov looks most likely to be named as team-mate to Robert Kubica at this weekend's Renault launch in Spain.

Monied Russian talent Vitaly Petrov has emerged as the new favourite to land the second seat at Renault's Formula One team for 2010, despite the presence of two fellow GP2 drivers under the management of new owner Genii Capital.

Petrov, who finished as runner-up to new Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg in last season's GP2 Series, had been linked to the nascent Campos Meta team - having raced for both Adrian Campos and 2009 team owner Alejandro Agag under the Addax banner - but now appears most likely to join Robert Kubica at Enstone. French motor magazine Auto Hebdo claimed this week that the Russian would be confirmed as the team's number two at the launch of the R30 in Valencia this Sunday, ahead of next week's first pre-season group test.

Whilst Petrov's position, which is expected to be backed by several major Russian companies, appears solid, Genii's Gravity Sport client Ho-Pin Tung insists that he had not ruled out a chance of becoming the first driver with Chinese ancestors to make it into F1. The 27-year-old Dutch-born driver told gpupdate.net that he was still awaiting confirmation of his role from Renault.

“Test driver would be nice, of course, but being one of the team's race drivers is obviously better,” he teased, “We must wait but, hopefully, we'll be able to announce something soon.”

Auto Hebdo, however, is among those claiming that Tung, along with Belgium's Jerome d'Ambrosio - another Gravity-managed pilot - will share the test and reserve driver duties at Enstone next season - a rumour that should be substantiated when Renault unveils what the R30 - complete with what is expected to be a return to the marque's familiar yellow-and-black colours of the 1980s - at the weekend.

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Martin - Unregistered

January 28, 2010 1:29 PM

Is Renault a top team under Genii? Petrov isn't too bad a driver, anybody who can finish 2nd in GP2 can't be a total slouch. Incidentally, Tung would not be the first F1 driver with Chinese ancestors, Alex Yoong's father Hanifah was of Chinese stock despite being Malaysian by birth.


January 28, 2010 11:11 AM

I thought Sato was in the frame too? Petrov might be a 'pay-driver' but he had a pretty good GP2 season last year, so he's obviously a pretty useful driver. Not all pay drivers are cack. If he is quick and upstages Kubica, I wonder how Robert will cope?

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