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2012 grid revisited, now with bonus Petrov - The lineup for the coming season is complete (again)

Published by Christine

A mere two weeks after I looked forward to the 2012 grid lineup, and pondered which partnerships were going to be the ones to watch, Caterham shook everything up. The announcement that Jarno Trulli was out and Vitaly Petrov was in did not come as a surprise to anyone. That's including Trulli, despite his protestations for the previous few months.

Better late than never
Better late than neverCredit: Caterham F1

The lineup of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli had never particularly thrilled me. In fact, this is what I said in that aforementioned post:

I've loved Heikki at Lotus Racing/Team Lotus/Caterham so far, and can't wait to see if they can push through to the points. Trulli I am less fond of, but they obviously see something in him so we'll have to see how he does.

- A full house for 2012, here's who I'm looking forward to seeing

I guess now we know they don't see something in him, or they see something more in Petrov. Trulli, and many F1 fans, have been up in arms about Vitaly's biggest asset being the cheque he is carrying, and I can understand the pay driver angst. Very often, a driver inserted into a team simply because he has the funding does little to improve the sport. I'd argue that Petrov has done more in the past 12 months or so than Trulli, including an appearance on the podium, attending the race of champions and generally being a bit more upbeat about life.

He did have a moan at his team when he felt the car was underperforming, but that was a one-off outburst, compared to Trulli's constant whining about steering wheel. If I never hear the words power steering again, it will be too soon.

With Trulli off the entry list for 2012, there's been uproar from Italian fans, disappointed that they have no one left to support. It's interesting that Ferrari are as Italian as it gets, they are the national team, and yet that still isn't quite enough. Mercedes are the German national team, but most people gravitate towards eyeing the five German drivers on the grid instead - no matter who they are racing for. The distinction between team and driver has never been more obvious.

Petrov gets another chance this season, after two year's at Renault, and he's partnered with the fabulous Heikki. He's got quite the benchmark beside him, but the team are pressing on and hoping to move forward. We know that Vitaly is capable of podiums, and hey, if he manages to pick one up this year, I'll be forced to declare it the International Week of Petrov instead.

2012 F1 Grid
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull
2Mark Webber
3Jenson ButtonMcLaren
4Lewis Hamilton
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari
6Felipe Massa
7Michael SchumacherMercedes
8Nico Rosberg
9Kimi RäikkönenLotus
10Romain Grosjean
11Paul di RestaForce India
12Nico Hülkenberg
14Kamui KobayashiSauber
15Sergio Pérez
16Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso
17Jean-Éric Vergne
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
19Bruno Senna
20Heikki KovalainenCaterham
21Vitaly Petrov
22Pedro de la RosaHRT
23Narain Karthikeyan
24Timo GlockMarussia
25Charles Pic