Mar.24 (GMM) It is not right to describe Vitaly Petrov as simply a F1 "pay-driver", according to his manager Oksana Kossatschenko.
Although confirming that the Russian rookie is bringing EUR15 million to the Renault seat this year, she insists that 25-year-old Petrov's relationship with the team is deeper than that."Vitaly has not come into F1 because of the money, but because of the strategic interests of various companies, and because of his driving talent," Kossatschenko told the Austrian financial newspaper WirtschaftsBlatt."He was at the right place in the right moment, when Renault was expanding its partnership and Russian production with (car brand Lada maker) Avtovaz," she said.Kossatschenko also confirmed that a "friend of his (Petrov's) father" is supporting the driver "financially"."In Vitaly's career there have been tempting offers that we have turned down when we realised that the teams didn't want the driver, only his money."Formula one is a business," she continued. "The team has a budget of just over EUR200 million, but the (Renault) group owns only 25 per cent of the shares and so cannot cover the budget."The team wants to expand into Russia and Petrov is the key for them. For formula one, Russia is a white sheet of paper."