Petrov slams Renault and admits exit 'possible'

By on Thursday, November 17, 2011

© Lotus Renault GP

Vitaly Petrov has admitted he might be in breach of contract for a rant against his F1 team Renault in the Russian press.

He started by telling Russian television Rossiya 2 that the Enstone based team's development of its 2011 car has not been good enough due to early problems with the unique forward-mounted engine exhausts.

"For almost ten races we have had absolutely nothing (new), which, in fact, means we drive basically the same car we began the season with," said Petrov.

"Of course, the first podium (in Australia) was inspiring, for me, the whole of Russia, all the fans. But then I was just angry with everything and tried to do something.

"Unfortunately, I can't say anything bad about the team, it is written down in my contract," said the 27-year-old.

Petrov uses the word 'unfortunately' because he claims the team bosses are often highly critical.

"Read my interviews, I don't criticise a team that lost many times. How much have we lost on pitstops? How much have we lost on tactics?

"Due to that kind of thing we lost, I can say, about ten races, if not more. Unfortunately, I couldn't say in an interview that we lost due to poor pitstops once again, or something.

"I still can't speak about it, but on the same side I also can't remain silent, I've had enough of it, I can't keep everything inside."

The breaking of the silence might be related to speculation Renault, to become Lotus in 2012, is rethinking its entire driver lineup for next year, despite already having a contract with Petrov.

"This is formula one, it's business," he admitted. "Gradually, they're just working to get more -– maybe the price, maybe the sponsors, maybe the drivers around them.

"Look at the queue of drivers at Williams -- I believe there are 20 people eager to take the second place there. Thank god I'm not in it.

"As for me, I think it is quite clear -- I have a contract. But as I said before, even the world champion Kimi Raikkonen was asked (by Ferrari) to leave formula one for a certain amount.

"It's a world where everything is possible, it will be hard to oppose if they want to remove someone," he admitted.

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