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Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov secures Mercedes DTM drive for 2014

Vitaly Petrov, Mercedes DTM test

Ex-Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov has secured a DTM seat with Mercedes for the 2014 season.

The Russian driver tested one of the team's C-Coupes at the Algarve track in January, having previously taken part in a demonstration run during his home event at Moscow Raceway last year.

"I'm aware that I've got a steep learning curve ahead of me, but I love a challenge and accept it gladly," said Petrov, who raced in F1 for Renault/Lotus and Caterham from 2009-12.

"At my first test in Portimao, I was able to make my first acquaintance with the team and get a feel for the car, which is very important for me in order to play to my strengths."

Mercedes is yet to announce which of its squads it will place Petrov with.

The only other details of its 2014 line-up revealed so far are the return of 2010 champion Paul di Resta from F1, and that Gary Paffett and Daniel Juncadella will stay on.

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff expects Petrov, the first Russian to get a DTM seat, to help the series' profile in his homeland.

"I'm sure that he will be valuable member of our team," said Wolff.

"Vitaly is a great sportsman and representative of his country, who has already demonstrated his ability by achieving, among other things, a podium finish in Formula 1.

"He will also be a great asset for Mercedes-Benz, especially in the Russian market."

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