Petrov seat in doubt, Villeneuve still eyes F1 return

UPDATE (GMM) Vitaly Petrov's management has denied reports the Russian driver's deal with Renault could be set to collapse.

The 25-year-old rookie, who finished last year's GP2 championship in second place, is signed to be Robert Kubica's teammate this year, but it emerged this week that the reportedly EUR15 million promised in funding to the newly Genii Capital-managed team may not materialize.

"The driver's management denies all rumors, which were due to a misunderstanding in an interview with the driver's father," Petrov's management Manuscript Agency said on Tuesday.

"We would like to inform you that the Renault F1 Team and Vitaly Petrov's management have reached full agreement and have signed a binding contract for 2010.

"Vitaly will drive for the team in all 19 Grands Prix counting for this year's FIA formula one world championship," the statement added.

The latest rumors, which surfaced earlier on Tuesday, suggested that Petrov's situation was so dire that he may be excluded from this week's testing at Jerez in favor of Renault's newly signed reserve driver Ho-Pin Tung.

But it has been confirmed that Petrov will drive the R30 at the Spanish circuit on Wednesday and Thursday.

And Petrov's management said: "At present, both team and driver are preparing for the next official test session, which is due to take place from 10 to 13 February on the Jerez circuit."

02/08/10 (GMM) Jacques Villeneuve has revealed he is still hoping to return to formula one in 2010, despite the apparent lack of race cockpits.

The only vacancies are with the struggling new teams Campos and USF1, with those seats likely to be filled by drivers with sponsorship support.

But a seat may actually re-open at Renault, following reports that the money promised by Russian GP2 driver Vitaly Petrov is in doubt.

Russian internet reports reveal that Petrov's first 50 per cent installment of EUR7.5 million, due on March 1, is funded by a St Petersburg bank loan in his father's name that may never materialize.

Hot on the heels of the reports, French Canadian Villeneuve told that he remains committed to racing in 2010.

"I continue to work hard to explain to teams why it is a good idea to put me in their car and, frankly, I feel that the message is getting better and better," said the 1997 world champion.

"It is not always easy to be fighting against drivers who bring millions, but I am not afraid of a challenge," Villeneuve, 38, added.

Christian Klien is another who might be considered an alternative to Petrov, and the Austrian told that he was so close to securing the seat that he actually visited Renault's Enstone headquarters.

"At Renault, I was in the factory and looked at the car and the team," he said. "They didn't decide on Vitaly Petrov until the morning of the launch."

So serious is Klien about his F1 chances that he is currently refusing to sign with Peugeot for 2010, due to the clashing Canadian grand prix and Le Mans in mid June.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :