• Renault news

Petrov future still in the balance

ESPNF1 Staff
August 6, 2010 « Maldonado set for Sauber? | »
Vitaly Petrov is still not assured of a drive for 2011 © Getty Images

Renault is still refusing to rule out a driver change for 2011 despite team boss Eric Boullier giving Vitaly Petrov a vote of confidence after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Although Petrov's chances of retaining his seat alongside Robert Kubica improved after his impressive fifth place finish at the Hungaroring, Boullier maintained that the team's options remained open.

"It is true that many drivers want to come to us," Boullier told France's Auto Hebdo. "But we do want to give Vitaly the support he needs to fulfil his potential. We are going to wait as long as possible."

With Renault reported to have substantial financial backing in the pipeline for next season, several drivers, including Kimi Raikkonen, Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock have been linked to the drive. But if Petrov's performances continue to improve, Boullier may opt to keep hold of the Russian.

"You don't take a decision on one race result, but if he starts to shine like this and scores more precious points, definitely he will seal his future with us soon," added Boullier. "I think he is getting closer and faster and starting to gain confidence."

Elsewhere, Lotus is set to confirm its switch from Cosworth to Renault engine power for the 2011 season during the August break.

"We have the capacity to supply additional teams in the future and would be willing to do so if it was good for Renault and for the sport as a whole," said Renault engine technical director Rob White. "There has been speculation in the press, with different teams mentioned from time to time, but no announcement is imminent."