Vitaly Petrov has defended his decision not to let Fernando Alonso by today in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Russian successfully kept Alonso behind him all the way to the flag and while that won't have earned him any friends at Ferrari, as he pointed out post-race, he was 'only doing his job'.
Indeed Petrov, who has had a mixed debut season and who has yet to ink a deal for 2011, put in a strong performance this weekend. Not only did he beat his Renault team-mate, Robert Kubica yesterday in qualifying, but he resisted race long pressure from Alonso to secure sixth place. It was his fifth top-ten finish of the year.
“This was a tough race, on a circuit where we know it is very difficult overtake. We have been quite fast all weekend, and I am proud of my team and the good job we did,” said Petrov, who ends his first season in F1 13th in the drivers' championship with 27 points on the board.
“I made a good start and could have gained some positions at the first corner, but I wanted to avoid having any problems like last weekend in Brazil.
“We pitted under the Safety Car, which was the right decision, and after that I just tried to push while looking after the tyres, because I knew that the plan was to go to the finish.
“I had a long battle with Fernando, but the car had good top speed today so I was able to control the situation: I just did my job. If he had tried a move, then I didn't want to crash with him, but it didn't come to that.
“I came here to fight, and race every other driver, and I think I showed today that I can fight,” he concluded.