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Vitaly Petrov a candidate for Renault seat UPDATE #2 (GMM)  Vitaly Petrov will almost certainly be named as Robert Kubica's 2010 teammate on Sunday.

Reports with multiple sources last week said the Russian GP2 driver is set to make his F1 debut in 2010 with Renault.

Vitaly Petrov
On Sunday, the 25-year-old - who is heavily sponsored but also highly rated after finishing F1's feeder series behind Nico Rosberg last season - arrived at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit.

Not only was Petrov trackside, he was - albeit casually clothed - seen in conversation with Renault team boss Eric Boullier.

Also seen at the Spanish circuit, which later on Sunday will stage the Renault and Sauber launches, was Jerome d'Ambrosio.

Like the similarly Gravity Sport-managed Ho-Pin Tung, the Belgian is linked with the 2010 reserve role with Renault.

At Valencia, Renault's motor homes are colored white and yellow, while team personnel wear dark and yellow clothing, with prominent branding by the French oil company Total.

Michael Schumacher's huge motor home is also parked behind the pits, while walking the paddock on Sunday afternoon was Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

On Monday, the Brazilian will begin testing Ferrari's new F10 car, and the Italian team announced on Sunday that Massa will not hand over the single seater to Fernando Alonso until the final day of the three-day session.

Ferrari said the schedule change is because Massa was unable to debut the car at Fiorano last week due to bad weather.

"It means that Felipe will be able to provide immediate and detailed feedback in terms of a comparison between the F10 and the F60," the team explained.

01/19/10 (GMM)  Vitaly Petrov has confirmed reports he is a candidate to become Robert Kubica's teammate at Renault in 2010.

The 25-year-old, who would be the first Russian to start a grand prix, finished the GP2 championship behind champion Nico Hulkenberg and reportedly carries millions in personal sponsorships.

"We are currently in negotiations with the Renault team and so far everything is at the stage of finalizing," Petrov is quoted as saying by infox.ru.

"No contracts with Renault or any other F1 team have so far has been signed," he insisted.  "One thing can be said with certainty: the negotiations must be completed before February 1, when the test drives begin."

01/18/10 (GMM)  Yet another driver is being linked with the vacant race seat at Renault.

A multitude of names have been mentioned as candidates for the role alongside Robert Kubica, and the latest belongs to a 25-year-old from Russia.

Vitaly Petrov carries significant sponsorship backing, and has already been linked with the vacant cockpits at Campos and Sauber.

He has driven in the GP2 series since 2006, and last season finished second behind champion Nico Hulkenberg.

Finland's Turun Sanomat claims Renault will select the driver with "the most sponsorship money" to be Kubica's teammate, adding that Petrov is "by no means the only strong candidate".

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