The 26-year-old Russian driver Vitaly Petrov (Виталий Петров) also known as “Vyborg rocket”, who was the “Rookie of the Year” in Formula 1 in 2010, will remain the only Russian driver in Formula 1. Vitaly Petrov who raced for Renault F1 Team alongside Robert Kubica of Poland in 2010, has signed for Lotus Renault GP for 2011 and 2012 seasons, the team announced. Vitaly Petrov debuted in Grand Prix in Bahrain in March 2010.
The Renault F1 Team will become Lotus Renault GP from 2011. Vitaly Petrov said: “I’m confident that I will deliver. In many ways, 2010 was about learning. 2011 will be about performing.”
Lotus Renault GP team principal Eric Boullier, who was previously CEO of Gravity Sport Management of Genii Capital principal Gerard Lopez said that “stable driver line-up is essential to achieving our targets”.
Renault F1 Team former reserve driver Jérôme d’Ambrosio of Belgium, who was before with Gravity Sport Management, signed for Marussia Virgin Racing for Formula 1 season in 2011. The luxury sports car maker Marussia Motors from Russia has recently acquired a major stake in Marussia Virgin Racing.
Oksana Kossatchenko (Оксана Косаченко), manager of Vitaly Petrov, said: “Thanks to Gerard Lopez!”.
Genni Capital of Luxembourg acquired a majority stake in Renault F1 Team (now Lotus Renault GP) in late 2009. Genni Capital principal and Lotus Renault GP chairman Gerard Lopez‘ venture capital firm Mangrove Capital Partners is a major investor in visual search engine Quintura.
Gerard Lopez said: “thanks to Vitaly and the team, Russia is opening up to Formula 1. Over the past few months, we’ve established close links with this country and with some of its strongest companies. We’re looking forward to building on this special relationship and turning it into a very successful adventure over the next two seasons.”
Lotus Renault GP (former Renault F1) sponsors from Russia include car manufacturer Lada, vodka brand Flagman, and others.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011!