Petrov: New Renault deal was a 50/50
Vitaly Petrov has followed the advice of his Lotus Renault bosses and relocated to England. Petrov was warned towards the end of last year by team owner Gerard Lopez that if he wanted a new contract he would need to move away from his Valencia base.
Following a rollercoaster rookie season Petrov's future was cause for considerable speculation prior to him finally signing a two-year deal just before Christmas.
But on the day Petrov and team principal Eric Boullier officially unveiled the marque's new black and gold livery for their car for the forthcoming season, after agreeing a sponsorship deal with Lotus, the Russian revealed that he has moved.
Speaking at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham's NEC, the Russian said: "I've taken a decision to move to England.
"First of all I'm now closer to the factory, and if I need to I can go any time.
"Secondly I can fly from a bigger airport and I can fly direct to wherever I want to, whereas in Valencia I sometimes had to fly via Madrid or Paris, so it was always complicated.
"But I've no reason to stay in Spain, so this is why I've taken the decision to move to Oxford.
"I don't want to live in London because it's too big for me. I was there a couple of days and there was too much traffic. It took an hour to drive to the factory."
With the new deal in his pocket much will be expected of Petrov, although he is expecting much of himself too.
"I was a little bit nervous about whether I would be given a new contract," added Petrov, who described Renault's new color scheme as "beautiful".
"It was my rookie year and I knew I had made mistakes, but I also had some good races, so it was 50-50.
"Now I've re-signed I feel much happier. I've already spent a lot of time at the factory because I need to prepare myself with the engineers for this season.
"I feel with a year behind me in Formula One I will now be a much better driver. I want to show improvement, to be consistent and to get more points.
"I know where I need to improve and what I need to do, and I also know all the tracks, so it will be easier to work with the team and for them to work with me." Planet F1