Vitaly Petrov is certainly a man motivated if you believe the rumors about his seat being at risk for 2011. The young Russian has been under pressure to perform in this, his rookie season in F1. Today’s qualifying was certainly an answer to his critics as he finished ahead of his much vaunted teammate Robert Kubica.
I think we did a good job today and Iâ€™m very happy to reach Q3 and to be starting seventh ahead of Robert because you first goal is always to be ahead of your teammate. We knew that the car would be quite good here and I have been very happy with the balance during the whole weekend. But the guys in front are still very strong so we know that we need to keep pushing to catch them. For the race tomorrow, overtaking will be very difficult, and the only real chance is at the start, but I will do my best to try and pass some guys and score some points.
While understandably trumpeting his performance over his teammate, Petrov is looking to raise his currency at the team for a secure ride for next year. Petrov, in my estimation, has done a good job this year. Having Kubica as a teammate is no easy task but Renault’s aspiration of beating Mercedes GP in the constructor’s title will require a lot from Petrov. While he is elated with his performance, the team is a bit more muted on the qualifying performance. Eric Boullier, Team Principal, said:
Todayâ€™s qualifying result confirms the strong pace that we have seen from both cars since the beginning of the weekend and especially during practice this morning. Itâ€™s good to see Vitaly in P7 and both cars are well placed to score points tomorrow. However, we struggled a bit with the option tyres in Q3 and we probably didnâ€™t extract the maximum performance from them, so we could have been even higher up the grid. But, as I say, itâ€™s still a good result and we know that we can be quick in the race. It will be important to be opportunistic and our target will be to get ahead of Rosberg and see if we can catch Hamilton.
Somehow I think today’s performance is a good boost for the Russian but in the end, it will be his wallet that will seal his fate.