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Boullier: Petrov closing in on new Renault deal

Having now troubled the scorers on two consecutive occasions - with tenth place in Germany and a superb fifth in Hungary last weekend - it seems Vitaly Petrov is stating a strong case for retention at Renault in F1 2011
A whole host of other drivers might have been linked to his seat in recent weeks, but Vitaly Petrov is presently making all the right moves to secure a stay of execution at Renault F1 into 2011, Eric Boullier has hinted – as long as the Russian rookie continues to improve.

A superb fifth position in last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix – off the back of his best-ever qualifying performance in P7, ahead of highly-regarded, grand prix-winning team-mate Robert Kubica – not only marked Petrov's finest finish in the top flight to-date, but it also made it back-to-back points-scoring results for the under-pressure 'Vyborg Rocket' following on from his tenth place at Hockenheim a week earlier.

Add into the equation seventh spot in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai back in April, and the well-heeled GP2 Series graduate has climbed up to twelfth in the title standings and established himself as the grid's leading rookie, albeit still 72 points down on Kubica – arguably the driver of the season so far – as Renault endeavours to catch and overhaul nearest rival Mercedes Grand Prix in the constructors' chase.

Petrov's raw inconsistency over the opening half of 2010 has been a cause for concern for Renault – with team principal Boullier openly musing over the 25-year-old's future at the Enstone-based outfit, as speculation grows that should a big-name sponsor come on-board, a big-name driver in the mould of a Kimi Raikkonen, an Adrian Sutil, a Timo Glock or a Nick Heidfeld would likely follow – but the Frenchman has now conceded that if his young charge proves capable of maintaining his current upward momentum, he will have no need to worry.

“It is true that many drivers want to come to us,” Boullier told French publication Auto Hebdo, “but we do want to give Vitaly the support he needs to fulfil his potential. We are going to wait as long as possible.

“You don't take a decision on one race result, but if he starts to shine like this and scores more precious points, definitely he will seal his future with us soon. I think he is getting closer and faster and starting to gain confidence; he knows he can get into Q3 and can race, and he is learning when to push, for example, when we have to overtake somebody at the pit-stops. He is getting there, clearly.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Team principal Eric Boullier with 2010 Renault F1 pairing Vitaly Petrov (left) and Robert Kubica [pic credit: Renault F1]
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team
Friday, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team
Qualifying, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault F1 Team
Friday Practice 2, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team, R30
Singapore Grand Prix
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF70H

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50 Cent - Unregistered

August 06, 2010 12:13 AM

I also would love to see Kimi back either with Renault or possibly with some other good outfit like RB. I've got a feeling that if Ferdi does no deliver he championship within next two years he might get sacked just like Kimi was. Anyway, I think Renault is kind of financially strap and it would be really nice if Robert could get a descent ride with a top outfit. I just have a feeling that Renault might not be able to provide him with a car capable of fighting for WDC.

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