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GP Week : Issue 165
Rumours surrounding Vitaly Petrov’s precarious F1 future gained extra traction this week when it emerged that even the Russian driver’s manager was on the verge of giving up hope. Petrov has three years’ experience in Formula One, racing for tvhe Renault and Caterham teams, and while he doesn’t have the hallmarks of a future champion, the Russian is quick and comes with sponsorship, two attributes vital for a career in F1 as it is today. But that sponsorship appears to be on the wane, and Petrov’s future now hangs in the balance. “We have now lost government support,” Oksana Kosachenko, Petrov’s manager, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “There's never been interest from [private] sponsors. I've always said that it's impossible to find sponsors in Russia for a project like F1. When there was support at the top level of government, this project worked commendably. “I don't rule out a scenario in which we have to end this Russian driver's competition in F1,” she concluded. Petrov is the only Russian racing in Formula One, and after the 2011 Australian Grand Prix he became the first Russian to stand on an F1 podium. With the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi scheduled to make its debut in 2014, the lack of F1 interest from private sponsors and financiers is a depressing prospect. Should Petrov lose his F1 drive, the next Russian driver with a remote chance of making it to the top tier of international single-seater motorsport is Mikhail Aleshin, currently racing in Formula Renault 3.5 . Aleshin won that series with Carlin in 2010, but did not impress the following season, in either WSR, GP2, or GP2 Asia. As a result, a promotion to the big leagues – even for a Russian Grand Prix – is unlikely, unless a smaller team is in desperate need of funding. DASVIDANIYA, VITALY? EDITOR: Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITORS: Naoise Holohan, Kate Walker F1 ANALYST: Peter Windsor MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott email@example.com RALLY EDITOR: Martin Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION ARTIST: Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY: Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Emily Davenport PUBLISHER: Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n Gaye Grinsted (WRC/MotoGP) email@example.com Ph: +44 (0) 207 254 8796 Mob: +44 (0) 7921 283 070 n Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK F1 >>> NEWS 5 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: