A great atmosphere in this team - Petrov

By on

The Renault Formula One Team looks ahead to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. Rookie driver Vitaly Petrov talks about the first four races of the season, his first finish and first points in China and the upcoming challenge at Barcelona.

Vitaly, after four races, how do you assess the start of your F1 career? "The start of the year was quite difficult for me and there were a few missed opportunities in the first three races. For various reasons things did not work out for me: I made a mistake in Australia and there were some problems with the car in Bahrain and Malaysia. To finish the race in China and score my first points was a great feeling and helped make up for the disappointment of the earlier races. But I always want more, and now that I have finished seventh, I must aim even higher."

How valuable was it to complete a full race distance? "I learnt an enormous amount in Shanghai, especially because it was a wet race with changing track conditions. At the start of the race it was really difficult to know what the weather would do and if we needed to change tyres so I was talking with the team on the radio and making decisions about our strategy. Also, I learned about the importance of looking after the tyres and by the end of the race I was very quick and able to fight with Schumacher and Webber, who were both struggling with their tyres. The final laps were a lot of fun and I didn’t want the race to end!"

You said recently that Renault feels like a family. Can you tell us about your relationship with the team? "That’s right, the team is just like a big family and I’m really happy to be part of it. We work well together and they are always trying to help me improve. I’ve said before that the determination of the team is what impresses me the most and the fact that there are so many people working hard to improve the car for each race. There is a great atmosphere in the garage and you can feel that everybody is giving their maximum."

We’re back in Europe now preparing for Barcelona, a circuit where you have a lot of experience. Are you looking forward to the race? "I’ve raced there many times in GP2 and we tested in Barcelona over the winter. It’s a circuit where all the teams will be well prepared and I expect the gaps between the cars to be very small. We didn’t have a very good test there in February, but hopefully the weather and track conditions will be different for the race and that will give us a chance to do better. As a circuit, it’s technically very difficult and overtaking is almost impossible, which is why qualifying will be very important."

Source Renault F1