The 25-year-old Vitaly Petrov (Виталий Петров), who was runner up in the GP2 series in 2009 and known as “the Vyborg rocket”, has become the first Russian driver to compete in Formula One (F1). Vitaly Petrov will race for the Renault F1 Team alongside Robert Kubica of Poland, the team announced. Vitaly Petrov’s debut in Grand Prix is expected in Bahrain in March.
The Renault F1 Team made a presentation of the R30 car for 2010 season at the Valencia circuit in Spain today. Vitaly Petrov said that he always dreamed of racing in Formula One. Renault F1 Team Principal Eric Boullier, who was previously CEO of Gravity Sport Management added that Vitaly’s performmances in GP2 last year were outstanding and confirmed that he is ready to make the step up to Formula One.
The Renault F1 Team‘s 3rd driver in 2010 will be Ho-Pin Tung of China and team’s reserve driver will be Jérôme d’Ambrosio of Belgium, both of Gravity Sport Management.
According to Eurosport, the Russian drivers Sergey Zlobin and Roman Rusinov were both reserve drivers in Minardi and Midland teams, respectively, but did not make it to the top two team drivers because of lack of sponsor support.
According to Oxana Kosachenko (via auto.lenta.ru), manager of Vitaly Petrov, the Russian driver has yet to get any major sponsor. Vitaly Petrov‘s career is supported by the funds from his family and friends. Vitaly Petrov will also likely sell the 50% rights to his “career” to the Renault F1 Team in case he does not find any major sponsor.
In December 2009, Genni Capital of Luxembourg agreed to acquire a majority stake in Renault F1 Team.