Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 2011

Petrov: ??Out-qualifying Robert better than beating Fernando??


Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 2011
Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 2011

Vitaly Petrov revealed the new livery for this year’s Renault at Autosport International today.

Afterwards he spoke to F1 Fanatic about starting his second year with the team.

F1 Fanatic: Congratulations on your new deal for this season. Is there a particular area of performance you hope to improve in your second season?

Vitaly Petrov: Everything, I think. The first season was difficult for us because we didn’t know the tracks and I didn’t know, in general, how F1 was working.

But now I have much more experience, more details about all the season. 2011 will not be easy but it will be easier because I’ve already done one year.

F1F: How was the reaction in Russia to your new contract?

VP: There was a big reaction because people were waiting for me to sign the contract. They were a little bit worried because it took long to sign the deals.

F1F: You had a strong end to 2010. What was more satisfying in Abu Dhabi – beating Robert Kubica in qualifying or keeping Fernando Alonso behind for 39 laps?

VP: I think it was more qualifying in the top ten. It was just a normal race – Fernando couldn’t overtake because of the track, not because of his speed, and also I didn’t want to push hard and kill my tyres.

So in general it was a good weekend.

F1F: You were ahead of Robert twice in qualifying last year. Will it be more this year?

VP: I don’t know how many times more it will be this year, but I will do what I can and we’ll see.

F1F: So what can you do to help the team improve their championship position in 2011?

VP: I think we just need to work together and continue to push harder: develop the car, develop my driving, everything little by little and together we can win.

F1F: Last year Robert did more of the pre-race testing with the car. Do you think you’ll get as much time as him in the car this year?

VP: I’m sure it will be fifty-fifty, I don’t think he will do more testing than me.

Autosport International 2011

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46 comments on “Petrov: ??Out-qualifying Robert better than beating Fernando??”

  1. I think if Vitali can get to about 3 tenths off Kubica’s pace this season he will of done well. He has a team-mate who is quite frankly a world champion in waiting once he gets the right car he will probably be in the same situation as last season in terms of qualifying ratio’s

    He couldn’t be too proud about beating Fernando, the McLaren (Which was a better car) at Abu Dhabi couldn’t get past the Renault so the Ferrari stood no chance.

    I am looking forward to see how well Vitali does this season.

    1. I agree with you RIISE. Petrov would never beat Kubica. Kubica is the one of best driver in grid, so If Petrov close the gap less than 3 tenths, it will be very successful season.

      above all, I think Petrov’s real problem is not qualifying face but constancy of race.

      1. Any car driven by Kubica is not that same when driven by another man! He is without doubt one of the biggest talents on the grid, I really would love to see him in a car which can really challenge!

    1. Yea, well make that “fullt time” driver then.

      Then Petrov goes on to claim that he couldn’t learn anything from Kubica. He “only”(!) had his telemetry available.

      If you can’t learn from telemetry then you don’t belong in F1.

    1. Yeah I was gonna point that out. His answer isn’t strictly what the title says.

      I hope Petrov does well next year, I do think he was unfairly criticised this year – and drove some great races which largely went unnoticed.

      1. He said he preferred qualifying in the top ten, and in the context of the question he was just asked, it means in front of Kubica, as Kubica was 11th.

        Of course, you could write a letter demanding he says it more specifically…

  2. Right decision from Renault to keep Petrov, he’ll only get better. On a livery note, although it doesnt look that great on last years car, i would like to bet it’ll look better on the 2011 car when it’s out on track come February

  3. One thing that Petrov was really good at in 2010 was his race starts. He always managed to get a good launch off the line and made up 2, 3, 4 positions, even before the first corner.

    If he can be a lot more consistent this year he could have a very good season. He has a lot of potential.

    1. I completely agree, but I noticed that he got a lot more conservative off his starts after the incident at Suzuka. I hope this break has allowed him to prepare mentally & bring back those epic starts!

  4. With Renault changing to a British race liscence, as part of the Lotusisation of the team, it means the sum total of French participation in F1 will only be 6 Renault powered cars and the name of each race as Grand Prix.

    No Drivers.
    No Teams.
    No Race.

    All mean no French anthem in F1 next year, which is a shame.

  5. On the beginning of the 2010 season he said that ‘F1 is easy’ and now he’s saying that ‘it is hard’, so i dont really believe in that what he says. Furthermore, he said that help from Robert’s side didn’t look like in his imagination’s- well paying driver cries because better driver doesn’t want to bother? Thst’s pathetic.

      1. Kubica said in one of the interviews that when he was talking to Petrov during last winter tests he was stunned when Petrov said to him that F1 was easy, similar to GP2.

        I personaly think that all drivers paying for their seats ruin F1 as a sport. Petrov is the best example. But what can you expect if you have Mr. Putin behind you :)

  6. I still think that Petrov retaking his position on Hamilton and their whole duel at Sepang was one of the highlights of the season – and anyone who can go one on one with Hamilton definitely has potential. Petrov was his own worst enemy last year. If he manages to reach for his best stuff more often than not this year he might even surprise us.

    1. Agreed. Petrov’s last season was no better or worse than Kimi’s or Heidfeld’s first season (and they both had the chance to test a bit more than Petrov).

      But, next season will be the proof of his potential. If he continues to crash the cars, he’ll be no better than another classy pay driver De Cesaris. On the other hand, if does his job properly, with a better race consistency, he might end up being a quality driver in next 10 years or so – kinda like Alesi or Irvine. Don’t see him as a regular winner or front runner, not at this point anyway.

  7. Keith, what did you actually think of Petrov as a person? I saw the interview in one of the Autosport articles that got posted overnight, and he comes across as a pretty decent guy. I think the reason why I like him as a driver is that he came across as pretty realistic. When the interviewer asked him about KERS, the new rear wings and Pirelli tyres, Petrov admitted that they were all new to him and that he’d have to learn as much as possible. I can’t help but think that a lot of other drivers would simply dismiss them as being nothing.

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