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Petrov launches Renault outburst

Vitaly Petrov hits out at his Renault team on Russian TV, fuelling speculation that he could be on his way out at the end of the season
Vitaly Petrov has cast doubt over his future with Renault after launching an astonishing outburst against the team in the Russian media.

Petrov started the season with a podium finish in Australia but has since endured a year of frustration as Renault gradually dropped away from the front.

Team boss Eric Boullier has been critical of his drivers on a number of occasions during the season and Petrov insisted he had to speak out about the situation despite his contract preventing him from criticising the team.

“Unfortunately I cannot say anything bad about the team,” he told Rossiya 2, “it says so in my contract. I still can't speak about it, but on the same side, I can't stay silent anymore. I've had enough of it and I can't keep everything inside.

“I haven't criticised the team despite losing out many times. How much have we lost in pitstops? How much have we lost with tactics? I can say that we have lost places in about ten races, if not more. But I couldn't say that we lost places with the pitstops or tactics in an interview.

“Even without having a fast car, we could still have scored more points if we had had the right strategy.”

Petrov added that Renault's main issue had been the fact that it couldn't keep pace with the development of other teams, with a series of parts having been trialled which failed to work as planned and the team also running into problems with the unique exhaust system fitted to the R31.

“We looked very strong in the first five or six races of the season,” he said. “We weren't able to compete with Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari, but we were a lot faster than Mercedes. But for almost ten races, we had absolutely nothing new so we've basically been driving the same car that we started the season with.”

Petrov's outburst comes with question marks over his future with the Enstone-based team, despite having a contract in place for the 2012 season, with Renault being linked with a number of drivers for next year.

“I think it is quite clear,” he said. “I have a contract. But I've said before that even the world champion Kimi Raikkonen was asked to leave F1 by Ferrari for a certain amount of money. This is a world where anything is possible and it is hard to do anything if someone wants you to be removed.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.11.2011- Friday Practice 2, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
11.11.2011- Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
11.11.2011- Friday Practice 1, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12

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gibbon75 - Unregistered

November 18, 2011 7:46 AM

Every driver is a paid driver nowadays and Petrov is not worst than Perez and co.But at least he has got the balls to speak out. That Renault (or Lotus or whatever) team is a weird place to be: let's not forget how they got rid of Heidfeld. Boullier is the new Briatore of F1...

Oli - Unregistered

November 18, 2011 7:46 AM

He's clearly a bit frustrated but I'm not sure I'd have described it as an "astonishing outburst". @ Nas A little harsh. Sure he brings sponsorship to the team, but he's not a "pay driver" in the sense of the old days where guys brought seats when they really had no business being in F1 in the first place. Petrov has scored a podium this year and kept Alonso at bay for a most of the race in Abu Dhabi last year. You don't climb an F1 podium unless you're at least pretty good. I agree with the sentiment that he is no match for the top guys on the grid, and clearly Kubica would have got more out the car, but Renault have hardly earned themselves a top level driver, given their complete lack of development. Their strategy does seem to be to not develop the car and then blame their drivers. Boullier seems an unreasonable and demanding boss, sacking Heidfeld when he was the teams top driver, being critical of Petrov & Senna, and his constant public demands to know whether Kubica is comin



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