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Van der Garde deal ends Petrov's F1 hopes

4 February 2013

Vitaly Petrov's manager Oksana Kosachenko has revealed that the Russian drivers hopes of competing in F1 this season are over after Caterham announced that it had signed Giedo van der Garde as his replacement.

Petrov joined the team for the 2012 season after his departure from Lotus/Renault and secured the vital eleventh place finish in Brazil that helped the team to secure tenth in the championship standings.

Despite that however, the Russian driver failed to retain his drive for 2013 after Caterham confirmed it would field an all-new line-up in the shape of Charles Pic and van der Garde.

The move leaves Petrov without a drive for the year ahead but despite there still being seats at Force India and Marussia that have still to be officially filled by the teams, Kosachenko said his options of a race seat have now gone.

“For Vitaly, it was the only possibility to stay in F1 in 2013,” she told R-Sport. “We knew this [van der Garde's deal] a few days ago, about the decision of the team, which we have to respect. I wouldn't say we didn't expect it.

“We have to sit down, we have to see what possibilities do we have. We have a few offers for Vitaly to stay in F1 and around the paddock, so we have to decide what is the best for him.”

Kosachenko also hit out at Russian companies for failing to support Petrov in his bid to stay on the grid, and said F1 was now seeing drivers given their places in the field on money rather than on talent.

“They never gave any proper offer, they never let us talk seriously,” she said. “We have to do something to promote Sochi Grand Prix, and this is a bad mistake they are doing.

“Formula One is really expensive at the moment. Actually it isn't a sport at the moment, it's tending to be a show, and I believe that we have more and more and more rental drivers in Formula One.”


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