Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Petrov secures two more years at Renault // The Russian driver signs a new deal with his team

Published by Christine

The confidence to deliver.
The confidence to deliver.Credit: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic

Speculation over who will take the second seat at Renault next year, alongside Robert Kubica, has come to an abrupt end as their 2010 driver Vitaly Petrov has been confirmed for a new two-year deal.

There have been plenty of names associated with the spare seat, but team boss Éric Boullier admitted they were considering Petrov - but that his skills as a number two driver would have to improve. They are now set to give him the chance to prove himself as Robert's right-hand man, with a double year deal.

Éric Boullier is confident they will see an increase in performance from the Russian:

The entire team has been working flat-out over the past months to improve our competitiveness, and a stable driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets. Robert Kubica provides a remarkable benchmark for both speed and consistency, and we are certain that Vitaly will move closer to this level of performance next year.

- Éric Boullier

Vitaly's best finish in 2010 was a fifth place in Hungary, whilst he picked up 27 points overall to finish 13th in the driver's championship. Meanwhile, Kubica had 136 points, finishing in 8th overall.

Petrov knows he has a point to prove:

I learned a lot about the sport, the circuits and the car this year. That will help me improve even more in the future. I am very excited about working with this great team once more, and I'm confident that I will deliver. In many ways, 2010 was about learning. 2011 will be about performing. Today, I feel I am ready to rise to this challenge.

- Vitaly Petrov

With this announcement, the team confirm their full line-up, exactly the same as last year. With recent Lotus-related headlines, though, it seems the drivers may be the only things reminiscent of the 2010 team.