Vitaly Petrov's manager has revealed that Bernie Ecclestone is keen to keep the Russian driver in F1 this season.

Petrov found himself without a drive for 2012 after being dropped by the Lotus team during the winter, with the team electing to pair Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for the new season.

The decision to drop Petrov means there is now no Russian driver on the grid just two seasons before the country is due to host its first F1 race in 2014.

Although there have been rumours linking Petrov with Caterham, Oksana Kosachenko denied that a deal there had been done but said Ecclestone was keen to see the former GP2 racer on the grid.

"As soon as it became clear that we could stay with Lotus Renault, I spoke with Bernie," Kosachenko told RIA Novosti. "He expressed his support and tried to talk with the teams.

"The teams are, however, completely independent from Bernie Ecclestone, so he can't influence their decisions in any way, unfortunately."

HRT are the only team yet to confirm both of its race drivers for the 2012 season.

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