Petrov to Extend Renault Deal - Report

Vitaly Petrov was uncertain of his Formula One seat with Renault for the 2011 season, but his performance in the season finale Abu Dhabi sure helped a lot in that direction. The way he managed to hold on to his 6th place in the race ahead of title contender Fernando Alonso was nothing short of impressive, and Renault's team manager Eric Boullier admitted it will count a lot in his decision to confirm a full drivers lineup for next year.

According to a report from Autosport, whose reporters actually talked to Boullier, it seems that the Russian is on the verge of securing an extension to his current deal with Renault.

His performance in Abu Dhabi will be a positive in our consideration. But we still have to sit down and I want to make sure my mind is fresh to think over the situation,” said Boullier, hinting that Petrov is in pole position to secure his seat next season.

There are still some frustrations but I have to consider the global package, and I have to say that Abu Dhabi was positive for him,” he added, admitting that is was this final race that put the Russian driver back into seat contention for 2011.

Additionally, he admitted that the chances for other drivers formerly linked with Petrov's seat – like Nick Heidfeld or Adrian Sutil – to secure a deal with Renault for 2011 are now slim, as the Russian's odds are “more positive than negative.” A definitive decision for Boullier and his management is expected to come in three weeks time, according to the same Autosport publication, in order for the team to have a proper start of the preparations for next season.

Petrov's stay at Renault F1 Team would also benefit the squad financially, as the Enstone based organization – rumored to lose its current owner Genii Capital, yet gain works support from Lotus Cars, but that's a whole different story – is currently backed in sponsorship form by Russian carmaker Lada.
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