MAY 12, 2016
Russia to have F1 team eventually
Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov thinks plans for a Russian team are on track.
Petrov, who raced for Renault and Caterham, now drives in Le Mans sports cars with SMP Racing, the motor sport arm of SMP Bank headed by billionaire Boris Rotenberg.
Rotenberg says the ultimate goal is an F1 team, and Petrov told Sport-Express: "I am sure that sooner or later it will happen."
Asked if he will be first in line for a race seat, the 31-year-old answered: "I would love to. I'm always ready. But Boris Rotenberg will decide."
Actually, it is the young Sergey Sirotkin who is first in line, with SMP backing him as a test driver at the new Renault works team.
Asked what the 20-year-old needs to do to achieve that, Petrov said: "He needs to show good results in GP2. That's what he can do today."
The first SMP-backed driver was Sergey Zlobin, who is now the outfit's sports director.
He said: "Work in this direction (a F1 team) is underway and is being taken seriously. In the world of formula one we have a lot of support, that's all I can say at the moment."