Petrov out, Senna and d'Ambrosio as Lotus reserve drivers?

By on Saturday, December 10, 2011

Senna may have to go back to his former role as Lotus reserve driver if negotiations do not work out

According to the French website Confidential Renault, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has hinted that are no connections between Russian driver Vitaly Petrov and the Lotus F1 team anymore. Petrov is not being considered for a reserve driver role at Lotus next year, after it was announced yesterday that Romain Grosjean would be the second Lotus driver in 2012.

During an interview with the Russia 2 television channel at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Petrov had launched into an outburst against the team, criticizing them for their lack of development and errors in race strategy. Although he later issued an apology to the team, he told Russia 2, "Unfortunately I cannot say anything bad about the team, it says so in my contract."

Petrov's attack on Renault presented the team with an opportunity to terminate his contract, despite the fact that he had a deal in place for 2012. The only obviously available seats now are at Williams and HRT. Although Petrov may have a chance at Marussia due to his Russian connections, the team has already confirmed Timo Glock alongside French rookie Charles Pic for next year.

Speaking during a press conference held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris on Friday, Boullier conceded that there is a chance that Bruno Senna could be a reserve driver at the team next year. According to Brazilian publication Grande Premio, Senna is also currently in negotiations with three out of the four teams on the grid which currently have vacant seats.

Another possible candidate for the reserve driver role at Lotus is Jerome d'Ambrosio, who is looked after by Gravity Sport Management, the official driver development programme of the Lotus team. Jerome d'Ambrosio is currently without a seat after he was replaced at Marussia by French driver Charles Pic for the 2012 season. As was the case in 2010 and 2011, Lotus could have several reserve drivers next season.

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