F1 News, Views and Reviews

Boullier Very Happy With Petrov’s Performance In China

Eric Boullier, the new team principal of Renault has told reporters that he is very impressed with Vitaly Petrov’s early pace in a Formula One car, citing his only finish of the season last weekend in China as evidence for his improvement as a driver.

The GP2 runner up has had a tough start in Formula One, but following a great drive in tricky conditions to 7th place at the Chinese Grand Prix, the Russian driver seems to be making some headway in the difficult world of Grand Prix racing.

“Vitaly put in a great drive,” said Boullier. “At the beginning of the race, the conditions were very tricky. Some parts of the track were wet, some weren’t, and it’s never easy for a rookie when the conditions are changing all the time.

“But once everybody got onto the same tyres in the second half of the race, he just got faster and faster – in the final laps, he was the quickest car on track.”

He added: “We know that he has some very strong qualities: his speed and his calmness under pressure. You always have to give young drivers time. Kobayashi and Hulkenberg, the other rookies in established teams, have struggled to finish races and score points this year, and they both have more experience in an F1 car.

“Yesterday, Vitaly was finally able to show his true talent. It demonstrated that once he has confidence in the car, he can be very quick indeed.”

Renault themselves have had a good season, amassing 46 points already with team mate Robert Kubica getting a podium finish in Australia.  The team’s fortunes seem to be on the turn fom the dark days of 2009.

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