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More to Petrov than money insists manager

ESPNF1 Staff
March 24, 2010 « 'A lot' of interest to be manager - Hamilton | »
Vitaly Petrov: more than money © Sutton Images
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It is not right to describe Vitaly Petrov as simply a F1 pay-driver, according to his manager Oksana Kossatschenko.

Although confirming that Petrov has brought €15 million to Renault this year, she insisted his relationship with the team is deeper than that.

"Vitaly has not come into F1 because of the money, but because of the strategic interests of various companies, and because of his driving talent," she said. "He was at the right place in the right moment, when Renault was expanding its partnership and Russian production with Avtovaz."

Kossatschenko also confirmed that a friend of Petrov's father was "supporting the driver 'financially'".

"In Vitaly's career there have been tempting offers that we have turned down when we realised that the teams didn't want the driver, only his money. Formula One is a business. The team has a budget of just over EUR200 million, but the [Renault] group owns only 25% of the shares and so cannot cover the budget.

"The team wants to expand into Russia and Petrov is the key for them. For F1, Russia is a white sheet of paper."