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Petrov apologises for outburst

ESPNF1 Staff
November 18, 2011 « Bird pleased with performance | Ecclestone gives Austin one week »
Vitaly Petrov: "I've had enough of it, I can't keep everything inside" © Sutton Images
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Vitaly Petrov has apologised to Renault after criticising the team's lack of progress on national television.

Petrov had hit out at his Renault team for a lack of progress and poor tactics, saying his contract prevents him from criticising the team but that he's "had enough of it". In the outburst on Rossiya 2, Petrov criticised the lack of development and progress, saying he has been "angry" for a long time.

"For almost ten races we have had absolutely nothing (new), which, in fact, means we drive basically the same car we began the season with," Petrov said. "Of course, the first podium (in Australia) was inspiring, for me, the whole of Russia, all the fans. But then I was just angry with everything and tried to do something. Unfortunately, I can't say anything bad about the team, it is written down in my contract."

Petrov also said that he has yet to speak badly about the team, but after blaming poor pitstops and tactics he said he could no longer stay quiet on the issues.

"Read my interviews, I don't criticise a team that lost many times. How much have we lost on pitstops? How much have we lost on tactics? Due to that kind of thing we lost [places in], I can say, about ten races, if not more. Unfortunately, I couldn't say in an interview that we lost due to poor pitstops once again, or something. I still can't speak about it, but on the same side I also can't remain silent, I've had enough of it, I can't keep everything inside."

However, in an attempt to defuse the situation Petrov's manager Oksana Kossatchenko said that he had already apologised to the team for the comments.

"It was an emotional interview," Kossatchenko is quoted as saying by Reuters. "It was an exception and he apologised afterwards to the team. It will never happen again. We are really sorry and the management has discussed it with Vitaly already."

Until now Petrov has always said that he will be driving for Renault (to become Lotus) in 2012 as he has a contract, but following the outburst he did admit that it would be difficult to remain with the team if it wanted to get rid of him.

"This is formula one, it's business. Gradually, they're just working to get more - maybe the price, maybe the sponsors, maybe the drivers around them," Petrov said. "Look at the queue of drivers at Williams - I believe there are 20 people eager to take the second place there. Thank god I'm not in it.

"As for me, I think it is quite clear -- I have a contract. But as I said before, even the world champion Kimi Raikkonen was asked (by Ferrari) to leave formula one for a certain amount. It's a world where everything is possible, it will be hard to oppose if they want to remove someone."