New Renault team principal Eric Boullier has said that he has no doubts whatsoever about the ability or speed of new driver Vitaly Petrov.
Petrov will make his debut in Bahrain after limited testing, but Bouiller said his previous results speak for themselves.
“Vitaly has shown a level of confidence as well as calmness under pressure, which has impressed the Team. There has been so much attention on him from Russia, but he’s taken everything in his stride and nothing seems to faze him. The only problem is his lack of dry running during testing, which isn’t ideal for a rookie. However, we are doing everything we can to make sure he feels comfortable in the team as he continues learning about Formula 1. I certainly have no doubts about his ability because his results in the past have shown how quick he is,” Bouiller said in a Q and A session.
Petrov took two wins in GP2 last season to take runner-up spot in the championship, and brings with him significant support from Russian backers.
Boullier confirmed that the Renault sponsorship deal with Lada had been connected with Petrov’s arrival.
“Our agreement with Lada is symbolic of the desire in Russia to support its first ever F1 driver at the highest level of world motorsport. That is a very encouraging sign not only for us, but for the sport as a whole. It is also an important deal for the team, because Lada is the first major new brand to enter Formula 1 in a significant manner this year – and we are proud to be the team that has made that happen. It’s a successful first step for our commercial strategy.”