Vitaly Petrov relieved to have secured F1 future after landing Caterham seat
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, February 17th 2012, 15:10 GMT|
New Caterham F1 signing Vitaly Petrov says he is relieved to have sorted his future in F1 after months of uncertainty.
The Russian is replacing Italian Jarno Trulli at the team after weeks of speculation about his future.
The deal was completed too late for him to join the opening test at Jerez last week, meaning that his first opportunity to drive will be the Barcelona test that begins on Tuesday.
But the 27-year-old told AUTOSPORT that he is relieved to be back in the cockpit.
"Of course it's not good to miss one of the tests, but I'm just happy that I can do the second test at Barcelona," Petrov said.
"It was a long time during the winter and it is difficult, not knowing what is going to happen with your future. But now finally we've taken the decision with Caterham and I can start to work with them over there."
Petrov endured mixed fortunes during his two years at Renault, with strong performances on occasions such as Australia last year (where he earned his first podium) offset by occasional errors and mounting frustration from both himself and the team over the limits of the R31.
But he says that the move to Caterham is an opportunity for both himself and the team to prove what they can do.
"I think this is a fantastic chance for me, and I think I will show a good side of myself," he said.
"I think I can improve myself together with them. This team has a lot of potential. Over the past two years they have shown that they have improved their car, they are getting closer to the other teams, and this year they have added a lot of new people at the factory, and we are moving to a big new factory close to Enstone.
"You can see in their eyes that they want to win. They want to be there in the top 10, so they are pushing quite hard."
Read Edd Straw's analysis on Petrov's chances here.