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Petrov could 'win a race this year'

Off the back of four points-scoring finishes from the opening seven races of F1 2011, Lotus Renault GP sophomore Vitaly Petrov has been tipped for great things by a brace of former grand prix-winners
Two ex-grand prix-winners have suggested that it is not beyond the realms of probability that Vitaly Petrov could follow in their wheel tracks by ascending the top step of the podium in F1 2011 – describing his progress as 'huge' and praising the young Russian for having 'done a fantastic job under a lot of duress this year'.

Petrov clung onto his seat at Lotus Renault GP at the end of a frustratingly inconsistent 2010 campaign – his rookie season in the top flight – by the skin of his teeth. More pressure was heaped upon his shoulders in the wake of team leader Robert Kubica's debilitating rallying accident in February, but he has responded magnificently and immediately repaid his employer's continued faith in him with a superb and wholly unanticipated rostrum finish in the Australian Grand Prix curtain-raiser in Melbourne the following month.

Although there have been no such heady heights since, the 26-year-old has nonetheless given a consistently good account of himself, with three points finishes from the subsequent six outings – including a strong fifth place in Montreal just under a fortnight ago – and proving to be more than a match for experienced team-mate Nick Heidfeld. Former F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell and Ferrari hero Jean Alesi have been suitably impressed, with the Briton even likening Petrov's early grand prix career to his own three decades ago.

“Vitaly has done a fantastic job under a lot of duress this year,” asserted Mansell, according to The Sun/i>. “I can see great things from him, going up against big names like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull. You may think that the best you can do is finish seventh – and I had that upwards of seven years in F1 – but if you are there, you are ready to pick up the pieces when things go wrong. Don't be surprised if he doesn't surprise himself and win a race this year. That would be fantastic.”

“Straightaway this year, we have been very impressed,” concurred Alesi. “Straightaway he was on the podium and he surprised everybody. The jump he made from last year to this year is huge – and the position he took in Melbourne was not by luck. Many times in F1 there is an accident and three cars go away, but this podium was achieved by his own ability.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.04.2011- Saturday Practice, Jean Alesi (FRA)
12.06.2011- Race, Jean Alesi (FRA) and Pasquale Lattuneddu (ITA), FOM
Race, Nigel Mansell (GBR) FIA Race Steward this weekend and Garry Connelly
Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management and Nigel Mansell
11.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
10.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
12.06.2011- Race, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31  leads Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
20.05.2011- Friday Practice 1,Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
08.05.2011- Race, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31 leads Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
22.05.2011- Race, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
21.05.2011- Qualifying, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
21.05.2011- Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
20.05.2011- Friday Practice 2, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
27.03.2011- Race, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31 3rd position
27.03.2011- Race, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31 3rd position
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17

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Adrian John - Unregistered

June 22, 2011 4:38 PM

I was a sceptic when renault took him on at the end of 09 but he is there on merit. Some of his starts are incredible and his one lap pace has stepped up. Heidfelds no world champion but he is record breakingly consistent and worthy team-mate to some very good drivers and Petrovs out-done him most of the year. I wish some of the idiots that come on here would actually watch whats going on on weekends than type a load of random crap that just isn't true. Sure a race win is probably a step too far at the moment but go on my son!

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