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Pressure mounts on Petrov as seven vie to replace him

The pressure to perform mounts on Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov, with as many as seven other drivers understood to be bidding for the 25-year-old's seat - arguably now one of the most coveted on the grand prix grid - at Renault F1 in 2011...
There are reportedly as many as seven other drivers under evaluation for the cockpit currently occupied by Vitaly Petrov at Renault F1 for 2011 – and whilst team principal Eric Boullier has conceded that talks are underway with a number of competitors, the Russian rookie is understood not to be one of them.

Having ably shaken off the 'pay-driver' tag he was unfairly labelled with back at the beginning of the campaign, Petrov has caught the eye on occasion with his raw speed and aggression in battle in F1 2010, but Boullier has also stressed that his consistency and qualifying pace need to improve if he is to hang onto what is fast becoming a coveted seat for a second consecutive season at the highest level.

The 'Vyborg Rocket' has scored only once from the opening ten grands prix thus far, whilst team-mate Robert Kubica has failed to make the top ten on just two occasions, leaving the pair with respective points totals of six and 83 – quite a handicap when Renault is endeavouring to catch and overhaul closest rival Mercedes Grand Prix for fourth spot in the constructors' standings.

Petrov has insisted that 'next year is in-hand...the talks will be held later', and Boullier has stressed that 'his future is actually in his hands' [see separate story – click here] – but it appears that with speculation of a big-money sponsor of the ilk of MasterCard potentially coming on-board, negotiations have begun with several more experienced drivers, meaning the 25-year-old's future may not be in his own hands at all...

“Some are fanciful, others are realistic because there are already discussions,” Boullier told French publication Auto Hebdo on the subject of the rumoured candidates, including ex-F1 World Champion-turned-rallying convert Kimi Raikkonen, Mercedes reserve driver – and Kubica's former BMW-Sauber team-mate – Nick Heidfeld, Force India star Adrian Sutil, Sauber's increasingly impressive Kamui Kobayashi, Lotus ace Heikki Kovalainen, Hispania reserve Christian Klien and Timo Glock, whose services Virgin are unsurprisingly rather eager to retain into 2011.

Sébastian Buemi had also been linked to the Enstone-based outfit, prior to his reconfirmation at Scuderia Toro Rosso for next year – albeit an announcement the Swiss ace himself had seemed unaware of [see separate story – click here]...




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team
Friday Practice 2, SŽbastien Buemi (SUI), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR5
Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing Cosworth
Friday Practice 2, Christian Klien (AUT), Test Driver, Bmw Sauber F1.08 and Geoff Willis (GBR), HRT, Technical Director
Friday Practice 1, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Lotus Racing, T127
Friday Practice 1, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP), BMW Sauber F1 Team, C29
Race, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
Wednesday, Nick Heidfeld (GER), Test Driver Mercedes GP
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Qualifying, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault F1 Team
Friday Practice 2, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Caterham F1 Team CT05

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stone - Unregistered

July 20, 2010 6:07 AM

I hope they give this guy another year, to be fair he is just learning in his first year in F1, new cars, new tracks etc. He may not have the points, but theres been times he has had a red hot go and suprised those more experienced in the field. If he just settles back that little bit, and gains some experience before going balls out, he'll become a real competitor.



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