13 December 2011
Alesi: Sponsor swung it for Grosjean
"It has been pretty amazing to be honest, just to get a real chance in F1. These guys gave me that chance to be in a much better position than I was at this time last year. They gave me a great chance to prove what I can do and, on quite a few occasions, I have been very competitive, so it's good to know that, in a competitive car, I can turn it out in F1. I'm looking forward to next year."
The Brazilian could form another emotional bond should he get the chance to join Williams, where his famous uncle had his career ended in tragedy, but appears behind Adrian Sutil on the waiting list to partner Pastor Maldonado. A return to HRT, where he began his F1 adventure, would be thought unlikely.
Petrov, meanwhile, also expects to remain in F1, with manager Oksana Kosachenko revealing that the Russian will be helped by his erstwhile employer, with whom he had a year of his contract to run.
“I stress that we have an excellent relationship with the Lotus Renault team and, together with them, we have now come up with another programme for Vitaly, which we'll announce before the New Year," Kosachenko told the Ria Novosti news agency, “It's not the end of Petrov's career, but his transition into a new phase.”
While Kosachenko has confirmed talks with two unnamed F1 teams, the strongest paddock rumour links Petrov with Marussia for 2012, purely on the basis of their common nationality. Should the Russian wind up joining the backmarker, it would likely be in place of veteran Timo Glock, who only confirmed a 'multi-year' extension to his deal with the team at the German Grand Prix in July. GP2 racewinner Charles Pic was announced as Marussia's second driver for 2012 shortly after the completion of the Brazilian GP, the Frenchman replacing Jerome d'Ambrosio, who could now link up with Lotus Renault as a potential reserve driver.
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