Dropped Lotus (Formerly Renault) driver Vitaly Petrov expects a decision on his 2012 F1 career within the next week. The Russian began his F1 career with Renault in 2010, partnering Polish Robert Kubica. The team kept him for 2011, where he scored his first podium in Australia. However, The Ranualt car failed to develop at the same rate as its competitors. They dropped Petrov, Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna for the 2012 campaign in favour of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean with Jerome d’Ambrosio taking the 3rd driver role.
Petrov has recently been linked with a seat at Caterham to replace Italian Jarno Trulli. He has also been linked with the Hispania seat, but Dutch rookie Giedo Van De Garde is most popular for the seat.
Petrov has also been in talks with Pirelli about securing the role as test driver, to test their tyres.
“If I said something it will be made into lots, I cannot say anything about what I will do this year,” Petrov told reporters after making an unexpected appearance at a Pirelli presentation in Abu Dhabi. “But please wait a little bit, another week. I want to say something but I can’t say at the moment. I want to stay in F1 because if I lose one year then it will be very difficult to come back and to take some places for 2013. So it is important to stay.”
Asked why he was attending the event at the Yas Marina circuit, the 27-year-old added: “They asked me to come and be part of this event, so I drive some cars and talk to some people and work with them.”
Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi who was dropped from Virgin in 2010 is also expected to remain as a Pirelli tester. Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery was asked about Petrov and said:
“We will see how it goes,” he said. “There is always a lot of tyre development work to do, and we are eager to have a driver who has experience of racing from the previous year.”
Petrov was highly critical of Renault after a disappointing result in last November’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and was then replaced by Frenchman Romain Grosjean for this season.
“I think I understand I should not talk about the team like this, but what is done is done and I don’t need to be angry about what happened,” he said. “Already it is the New Year, it is finished so I am fully ready for next year. It is racing. Sometimes you have a good result, sometimes you have a bad one. So I think it is better not to talk about it.”