Former F1 racer Vitaly Petrov has become the fourth driver to sign up with Mercedes for the 2014 DTM season.

Petrov, who tested a C-Coupe in Portugal last month, joins Gary Paffett Daniel Juncadella and Paul di Resta in the Mercedes line-up although it has yet to be confirmed which team will run the 29-year-old.

When Petrov makes his debut in the season opener at Hockenheim in early May, he will become the first Russian driver to compete in the series and he said he was ready for the challenge.

"The DTM is a great racing series and I'm very happy that Mercedes-Benz are giving me the chance to compete against the world's best touring car drivers in the DTM," he said. "I'm aware that I've got a steep learning curve ahead of me, but I love a challenge and accept it gladly.

"At my first test in Portim?o, I was able to make my first acquaintance with the team and get a feel for the car, which is very important for me in order to play to my strengths. Motor racing is becoming ever more popular in Russia - last year, the DTM debuted at the Moscow Raceway and Sochi will host Formula 1 for the first time this year.

"I am certain that we will see many more Russian racing drivers in various series in the future and I hope that I can do my part in the DTM to make our sport more popular in my home country."

Head of Mercedes motorsport Toto Wolff said he was pleased to give Petrov the opportunity to make the move into the tin-top series.

"Vitaly had a successful test in our DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupe at Portim?o and I'm sure that he will be valuable member of our team," he said. "Vitaly is a great sportsman and representative of his country, who has already demonstrated his ability by achieving, among other things, a podium finish in Formula 1. He will also be a great asset for Mercedes-Benz, especially in the Russian market. I am looking forward to see how things will develop within DTM."



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