Russia Keeps Providing Financial Support to Petrov

Vitaly Petrov will stay in Formula One at least until the end of the 2012 season and, if he confirms the hopes put in him by his Lotus Renault team, he may have a chance of becoming the first Russian driver to start on the grid of the first Russian Grand Prix in the history of Formula One.

However, this 2-year prolongation of his F1 career did not come cheap for the Russian nation. And we're not necessarily talking taxpayers' money here, but private and partially state owned companies that are willing to chip in for maintaining Petrov's F1 career alive. As confirmed by the local media, the Lotus Renault driver has already signed a new sponsor for 2011.

State-owned technology holding company Rostekhnologii will provide some financial support for Petrov starting this season, and other companies are reportedly in line to do the same. And all of that was decided upon after a meeting between the country's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, some of Russia's innovation companies, Petrov himself and his manager, Oksana Kossatschenko.

He definitely needs support,” confirmed Putin, after the meeting. “Financial support most of all.”

From the moment he stepped into F1, Petrov benefited from financial and political support from his country. Russia's PM Putin made sure his deal with Renault included some important financial backing from national carmaker Lada, after which several other sponsors from Russia joined in.

As far as his 2010 efforts go, from a racing perspective, the former GP2 graduate ended his maiden F1 campaign in 13th place, scoring 27 points. He recorded 5 DNFs from 19 races, three of which happened in the first 3 races, and highlighted a 5th place in Hungary. Most people remember him however for keeping Fernando Alonso on his tails for most of the Abu Dhabi finale, before finishing 6th.
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