Vitaly Petrov says his aim heading into the 2010 F1 season is to try and score points on a regular basis, following confirmation that he will join Renault for his debut in the sport.
Renault confirmed yesterday [Sunday] that Petrov will become the first Russian to compete in F1, with the GP2 race-winner being named as team-mate to Robert Kubica for the season ahead.
Petrov is set to get the chance to run in his new car for the first time during this week's test in Valencia and he admitted that the aim for the year ahead was to score points and get as close to his new team-mate as possible.
“I'm so proud to be here and want to do the best job I can,” he said. “When testing begins we will be able to judge where the R30 is in comparison with the other teams so before that it's too early to set targets. All I can say is that I will try to be as close to Robert as possible and hopefully score points regularly for the team.
“I'm really looking forward to any wet races and the street circuits. That's because I started my racing career in Russia competing in rally sprints and ice racing so I feel comfortable in slippery conditions. Also, I won my first GP2 race on a wet track in Valencia when I started on slicks on a damp track. But first I need to see what an F1 car feels like in the rain.”
Petrov added that the chance to step up to F1 this season was a dream come true, although he admitted to having nervous moments over the winter as the grid started to fill up and the number of vacant drivers started to fall.
“For me it was a very long winter and I felt rather nervous when I saw other drivers' contracts signed one after another,” he said. “But I always believed that one day it would by my turn, and now, thanks to the Renault F1 Team, this finally became a reality.
“When I first drove a Formula Renault 2.0 car back in 2003, I couldn't imagine that one day I would drive for Renault in Formula One so this really is a dream come true. Now I just can't wait to sit in the cockpit and do my very first lap in a Formula One car. I'm sure it will feel fantastic.”