Petrov Wants Russian GP in Formula One

Russian driver Vitaly Petrov has just been confirmed as official race driver of Renault F1 Team. Apart from being the third GP2 graduate to make the big step into Formula One following the 2009 season, Petrov also became the first Russian driver to ever set foot in the sport.

Curiously enough though, Petrov's first thoughts after signing his first ever F1 deal were not directed at himself, but at his country's chances of hosting a race in the Great Circus. If many rumors about it have surfaced in the media in recent years, no one really made an attempt to include Russia in the annual F1 spectacle, despite the recent economic difficulties experienced by several existing venues out there.

This is what I tried to do a long time ago, so when I was driving in GP2 I always tried to get the TV and newspapers to say 'come on, we're Russia, we're a big country, we must have a Formula 1 grand prix. It has to be. So now I'm here maybe they'll wake up and try to do something,” said Petrov.

He also revealed that his signing a deal with a Formula One team has created a huge enthusiasm in his native country, where all the media has exploded in recent days. Hopefully, that would also attract sponsors for his F1 programme, while also creating the necessary conditions for a Russian Grand Prix in the near future.

They (the sponsors) must wake up because we came here without any sponsors, without any help to be in Formula 1 - with just my father, my manager and my father's friends. Nobody else. Now they will see us in Formula 1 and that will change something,” added Petrov.

He also referred to his former Barwa teammate from the GP2 Series Romain Grosjean leaving the championship mid-way through last season for a place at Renault. Petrov agued that his move may have been a mistake, considering he didn't have the necessary time to adjust to the conditions of F1 racing. The Frenchman went on to finish his maiden F1 campaign without a single point in his pocket.

For me it was maybe a bit of a mistake (for Grosjean) to finish GP2 in the middle and go to Formula 1 because first of all he didn't have tests. Other drivers had already done some races, so it was difficult for him to be at the top. But now I think I have time to learn a little bit and then we will see,” added Petrov.
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