Petrov’s manager not confident of 2013 deal

Following reports he was the favourite to secure the other Caterham race seat, Vitaly Petrov’s manager actually sounds far from optimistic.

German reports had suggested the Russian has found new sponsors and was on the cusp of sealing the deal to secure his place at the team for 2013.

“So far, we haven’t managed to find new sponsors,” Petrov’s manager Oksana Kosachenko is quoted by R-Sport. “Where do journalists get this information from? I’m a journalist myself and I know very well how this can just pop into someone’s head.”

She admitted Petrov is not close to sealing the deal.

“At the moment there are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Kosachenko. “There are too many nuances that need to be sorted out.

“We’re at the waiting stage, which is linked to the team’s restructuring. We completely depend on them and can’t speed anything up.”

Caterham has already signed 2012 Marussia driver Charles Pic, and at the weekend technical boss Mike Gascoyne hinted it is likely Petrov’s 2012 teammate Heikki Kovalainen will be dropped. Alongside Petrov, it was believed the sponsored drivers Bruno Senna and Giedo van der Garde were also in the running to be Frenchman Pic’s 2013 teammate.


Sources say Petrov to keep Caterham seat

‘Russian sources’ report that Vitaly Petrov is set to keep his Caterham seat for 2013, the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat claims.

Already this week, the 28-year-old’s manager Oksana Kosachenko revealed that “all the necessary work on our part is done — and it’s for Caterham to decide”.

Petrov’s teammate in 2012 was Finn Heikki Kovalainen, but Caterham has already announced that Charles Pic will be driving one of the green-liveried cars next year.

Among the other candidates to be Pic’s 2013 teammate are Giedo van der Garde, Bruno Senna and Luiz Razia.

Turun Sanomat quotes Kosachenko as saying: “I believe Vitaly’s race in Brazil securing tenth place in the manufacturers’ championship helps us to stay where we were.”

Also playing in Petrov’s favour is a recent visit to Caterham’s headquarters of his sponsor Russian Helicopters, and Bernie Ecclestone’s desire to have a local driver on the grid when Russia hosts its inaugural grand prix in 2014.

Organisers of the 2014 race in Sochi said this week that construction of the track is now in “high gear”.


Petrov says F1 career not definitely over

Vitaly Petrov has hit back at reports he will definitely slide out of F1 at the end of the season.

Previously boosted by his Russian supporters, Petrov’s manager Oksana Kosachenko suggested recently that she was looking at alternative projects for 2013 because the 28-year-old driver’s financial backing had dried up. But Petrov has suggested in Korea that Kosachenko was simply laying out their strategy to stay in formula one next year.

“We decided to talk about it now, not at the end of the year or at the last race,” the Caterham and former Renault driver is quoted by Germany’s

Petrov said it is a different situation for other so-called pay-drivers “such as (those) from Mexico and Spain”, who are able to “choose the team” they drive for. He said staying at Caterham in 2013 remains a possibility.

“They want to keep us here, my management and the team are still in negotiations on the contract for next year, so everything is still open,” said Petrov.


Petrov’s manager withdraws from 2013 F1 talks

Vitaly Petrov’s F1 career is in crisis, after his manager called off talks with prospective teams over a 2013 race seat.

Oksana Kosachenko told the Russian news agency Ria Novosti that the former Renault and now Caterham driver’s sponsorship funds have dried up. She said recently she was in talks about 2013 with three or four teams.

“We’ve taken a timeout now,” Kosachenko said on Tuesday. “I need time to consolidate all our financial possibilities and understand if there’s sense in continuing any talks. If there’s no money, then there’s no driver.”

Kosachenko said last month that the Russian government had pulled its backing of Petrov, which was in the form of sponsorships from state-controlled Russian Helicopters and chemicals manufacturer Sibur.

Petrov, 28, ousted Caterham’s Jarno Trulli at the last minute ahead of the 2012 season, but Kosachenko said she would not spend the winter in similarly urgent talks. She said she would instead look at the possibility of “other projects” for Petrov.

As for Petrov’s relationship with Caterham, that appears to be at an end.

In the team’s post-race media statement after Singapore, boss Tony Fernandes hinted there would soon be positive news about Heikki Kovalainen’s future.

“We’re very pleased for Tony that he has positive news,” said Kosachenko on Tuesday. “But we’d like it if this news had some sort of connection to the car’s development and not just to Heikki.”


Russian government no longer backing Petrov

Vitaly Petrov’s manager has revealed the Russian driver’s F1 career is currently hanging in the balance.

Oksana Kosachenko, who has managed the 27-year-old’s career at Renault and Caterham since 2010, told Russian news agency Ria Novosti that the government has pulled its financial backing. The R-Sport website said Petrov has lost the government-linked sponsors Russian Helicopters and Lada.

“We have now lost government support,” Kosachenko is quoted as saying. “There’s never been interest from sponsors. I’ve always said that it’s impossible to find sponsors in Russia for a project like formula one.

“When there was support at the top level of government, this project worked commendably. I don’t rule out a scenario in which we have to end this Russian driver’s competition in Formula One,” she added.


Manager warns Petrov may quit F1

Vitaly Petrov’s manager has warned she will find another pursuit for the Russian driver if they cannot make money in F1.

Since 2010, when the now 27-year-old made his debut for Renault (now Lotus) before switching to Caterham this season, Petrov has funded his race seats through private backing and sponsorship. But his manager Oksana Kosachenko warned that they may change direction for 2013.

“If the presence of a Russian driver in formula one will be interesting to no one else but Vitaly Petrov and Oksana Kosachenko, we’ll find what to do outside the grand prix,” she told Sport-Express. “Formula One is great and very prestigious, but for Vitaly it’s a job that brings no money. Why? There are many reasons.

“In Russia, it’s difficult to sell an athlete, but to sell a Formula One driver is almost impossible,” added Kosachenko.

Petrov not nervous about 2013 Caterham seat

Vitaly Petrov says it is too soon to determine what he will be doing in 2013.

The Russian made his debut for Renault (now Lotus) in 2010, moving across to the back-of-the-grid Caterham team at the beginning of this season. And his manager Oksana Kosachenko said recently she is in talks with three teams about 2013.

“Before autumn we have to be ready to take some decisions. I don’t want to be in the situation which we faced last year,” she said.

Kosachenko said the priority is to keep Petrov, 27, at Caterham. So when will they be in a position to know more?

“I think after August,” Petrov is quoted by the Russian website “Right now, all the talk about (drivers) moving around is just starting.

“The main thing is that the (Caterham) team is happy with me, they’ve said it in the press and to me personally,” he revealed.

Petrov said he is not feeling “nervous” about the future.

“Maybe in another situation I would be, but because I have good results and we work well together as a team, I see no reason for that.”


Petrov could leave Caterham after 2012

Vitaly Petrov’s manager has revealed she is in talks with three teams about the 2013 season.

After Renault (now Lotus) dropped him at the end of last season, Russian Petrov moved to the back of the grid for 2012 with Caterham. But the 27-year-old’s manager Oksana Kosachenko has now hinted Petrov could lose his seat yet again once the current championship is over.

“I would like something in my hands, something we can put on the table when we don’t have any proper offer from Caterham,” she told Ria Novosti news agency. “Before autumn we have to be ready to take some decisions. I don’t want to be in the situation which we faced last year.”

And she insisted that if Petrov does stay at Caterham, they expect the Tony Fernandes-led team to up its game.

“The main priority is to keep staying in the team we’re in at the moment,” said Kosachenko. “They’re developing and we’re expecting big progress in the second half of the season, so we’ll see what we will have.”

She played down the likelihood that Vyborn-born Petrov could contest Russia’s first ever grand prix next year with the Russian-owned team, Marussia.

“He is quite an experienced driver, so I think he deserves to get points. I am not sure this is feasible with Marussia, even next year,” she said.


Mixed feelings as Perez returns to crash scene

Sergio Perez admitted to mixed feelings on Wednesday as he returned to Monaco. The last time he was in the Principality to race – for his debut grand prix in the fabled Principality – he was hauled away in an ambulance, having been knocked unconscious in a huge qualifying crash.

“To me it’s unbelievable to be back here after such an accident,” the 22-year-old said on Wednesday, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Mexican Perez said Monaco is still his favourite track.

“It is definitely not a good feeling that the walls are so close, but we know the risks. It’s a special place. I can remember everything right up to the crash. The next thing I know was that I was on the way to hospital — I was unconscious for several minutes.

“After such an accident it is not easy to come back — I cannot say for sure how I will feel when I come out of the tunnel for the first time. But I think it will be completely out of my head.”

Perez said he really needed “four or five” races to recover from the heavy concussion, but that there was pressure from sponsors to come back as soon as possible.

“I wanted to get back into the car in Montreal, but it was impossible,” he recalled. “In Valencia it was very difficult for me.”

Now, he is hoping for a very different Monaco weekend, after looking strong last year until his crash.

“Our goal must be the podium. I hope to find a good setup although we have recently had a little problem with the traction. We are so close to the top that every tenth can make a difference.

“After our second place in Malaysia, maybe the next step will be victory — I don’t know if we will succeed. But the opportunities are there,” said Perez.


Petrov: Lotus relations turned sour

Vitaly Petrov has revealed he lost his seat at the Renault team, which is now known as Lotus, following disagreements with key team members.

For 2012, the Russian has had to switch to Caterham, a F1 backmarker. In the meantime, with an all-new driver lineup comprising former world champion Kimi Raikkonen alongside Romain Grosjean, Lotus has stepped up a gear and is now among the sport’s most highly competitive teams.

“What happened last year was a shame, but at the end of the season relations with some people soured and they were against me,” Petrov is quoted by the Russian website

Now he’s at Caterham, paired with Heikki Kovalainen, who is widely regarded as the Tony Fernandes-led team’s main driver.

“At Renault it didn’t work,” Petrov explained. “I was ahead of my teammates, but asked to leave anyway. But this was an exception, as in all situations you must always strive to be ahead of your teammate.”

The Russian insists Kovalainen is not treated preferentially.

“Of course things sometimes appear that way, but when I saw the situation from the inside, I realised that everything is open. Here’s an example: in Malaysia we had one new engine cover, they called Heikki and I together, and tossed a coin! From that day I had not a single doubt.”

As for his chances this weekend in Monaco, Petrov insisted: “There is a good chance to be in a good position.

“But if we score points then it will not be because we are fast but because of something else like a better strategy,” he admitted.