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.”