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Petrov Apologises to Renault
Russian sorry for TV interview
Posted Nov 24, 2011 by Chris White
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Russian driver Vitaly Petrov has apologised to his Renault team after criticising their strategies and upgrades during a television interview back home. The 27-year old driver has apologised to team bosses and the crew after what was described as a “heat of the moment” reaction to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Petrov, who finished lapped and down in 13th place told Russian TV that although his contract prevented him from doing unauthorised interviews, saying anything negative about the team, he had to speak out after a disappointing season.
The Russian said, “I haven’t criticised the team despite the fact that we have been poor so many times. How much have we missed at pit stops, with strategy? We have lost positions in ten races, if not more. Even without a fast car we could have gained more points if we had had a good strategy. I can’t keep things inside any more.”
The outburst has lead to speculation about his future with the team, despite having a contract with the Renault squad for the 2012 season. The team, changing their name to Lotus next year, could now terminate his contract if his offence has made the relationship irreparable, but that scenario is highly unlikely.
Petrov finished third in the first race of the season at the Australian Grand Prix, but has only scored five points in the last eleven races, and his team-mates have faired little better, with Nick Heidfeld replaced by Bruno Senna in August, who has scored just two points since taking the wheel.
Boss Eric Boullier has not said whether or not action will be taken, but he has confirmed that the team are looking for “two big names” for the 2013 season. Robert Kubica is looking unlikely to return in 2012 after his horror injury during a rally crash, but one name being bounded around the paddock is Kimi Raikkonen, who could end his two-year absence from the grid.
See Vitaly Petrov take his first step on the Formula One podium at Australia in 2011: