Petrov’s Renault Seat is Not 100% Secure

Vitaly Petrov’s Formula 1 dream today hangs in the balance after his father admitted that the loan he had personally secured to pay the first instalment of his son’s €15 million deal to race for the Renault F1 team in 2010, had been put on hold.

Speaking to the Russian media, Alexander Petrovic has revealed that despite approaching 500 of Russia’s largest companies for support, his son’s management have come up empty handed. Indeed, it is Petrov’s father himself who has promised to pay the first instalment of €7.5 million to Renault (securing the money against his own property), after the team agreed to hand Petrov his F1 debut on the proviso that half the seat’s €15 million value be paid at the beginning of March 2010, with the remaining €7.5 million to be paid in July 2010.

“Vitaly’s manager Oksana Kosachenko, who has taken care of my son for the past nine years and through whom we came to Formula 1, immediately began to look for sponsors,” he told “The leadership of Renault met us, and allowed us to pay the money in two instalments, delaying payment of the first until March and the second until July.

“Oksana visited 500 large Russian companies, but was refused everywhere! When I told Vitaly we could not find the money and that he would be better to forget about Formula 1, he started to cry… as a child he never cried, but with this shock he could not help himself.

“Thank God, at the last moment my friend – the Chairman of the Board of Directors of one of the St. Petersburg banks – did not refuse to issue a credit for €7.5 million. To do this, I had to lay the property.”

Alexander however has admitted that, as of yet, he has still not received the loan and that if the money fails to arrive before March 1, his son may lose his Formula 1 drive.

“The first seven and a half million, we still have not received. The bank extended the consideration of an application for a loan – the money is huge. If, before the first of March we do not make the first payment, Vitaly can be changed to another pilot.”

Petrov’s signing to Renault came amongst speculation that his ride was being funded by Russian oil and gas corporation Gazprom, however Alexander told that this was incorrect.

“It would be better it were true! But, unfortunately, this is just fiction. If in fact, Gazprom had sponsored us, then the car would have their inscription.”

Petrov Snr hopes that messages of support from high ranking government officials, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will help his son’s cause in not only oiling the cogs to facilitate the payment of the first instalment, but also in procuring the necessary funding to ensure that his son is able to meet the full terms of the payment schedule in 2010 and complete a full season in F1.

“We have one hope: the chairman of the Government Vladimir Putin. President of Federation of motorsport Russia Victor Kiryanov and Sports Committee Chairman of the State Duma Anton Sikharulidze Vladimir Vladimirovich wrote letters asking for help.”

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19 thoughts on “Petrov’s Renault Seat is Not 100% Secure

  1. OMG!

    How long did it take VP’s manager to visit 500 Russian companies?

    Big countries, like Russia and China, are supposed to have deep pockets. But every penny seems to be spent for a more divine purpose. I can only draw one conclusion: Motosport are not for them, at least not for now.

    I wish Bernie could take away the Chinese GP, leave that white elephant circuit to SH government to sort out the mess. And please don’t bring on a Russian GP, please.

  2. Hah hah… LMAO. Why am i not surprised.

    Well Renault deserve it. Should have never put Petrov in the car anyway.

    Maybe if Petrov doesnt pay up they will have the sense to put Villeneuve in the car.

  3. I’m not sure why people are so hostile towards not traditional countries on the F1 calendar. There’s no need to worry Michael – russians are not really interested in having a Grand Prix since the government blew billions of dollars on Sochi Winter Olympics.

    Just as a reminder I’d like to point out that Petrov comes from Vyborg which is basically as close to Europe as it gets. Motor racing is quite popular in that region of Russia. If there was a decent circuit it would be sold out.

    The problem with bashing, Tom Adams, is that it doesn’t get you anywhere. As a regular guest in RF1 garage I can only say that the team works hard, they’re professionals.

    • I wasnt bashing, simply saying that it was a mistake for a top team like Renault to take a pay driver and put him in the car.
      Now that the pay driver cant pay, i find that rather ammusing..
      Dont count your rubles before they hatch.

      I cant tell you how dissapointed i was not to see JV get that second Renault seat, he could have really helped push that car forward and it would have been great PR for Renault..

      Still, maybe if Petrov gets dropped JV may get a second shot at the seat.
      Or maybe they will look at another like Sato or Klien…

  4. Hello Will

    The man.Lopez, said some pretty flash things about Genii/Renault being a hub and a platform [whatever that means] but when all is said and done they are just flogging a seat to the richest kid around. Some hub.


  5. Pingback: The wacky financial deals surrounding F1 « noikeee on motorsport

      • JV, who hasn’t raced for three years? JV, who hasn’t won a race for ten? JV, who scored more points in his championship year than he did for the next decade?

        I fail to see your logic in calling for Petrov to be dropped and Villeneuve to be signed in his place. Petrov doesn’t just bring money – he placed second in the GP2 championship last year. And if you look at his results from his time in that series and compare it to everyone else, he went from the back of the grid to the front faster than anyone. Not even Nico Hulkenberg or Lewis Hamilton could boast that.

        • Prisoner Monkey, don’t forget that Petrov joined GP2 in 2006 and took the better part of four years to become a regular competitive force. If I was going to compare his qualities as a driver to anyone, particularly in light of GP2 results, Lewis Hamilton isn’t the driver that immediately springs to mind.

    • Hi Tom

      I’m sorry you feel the F1 media make things up. I can assure you that I have never met a colleague who would stoop to such levels. Naturally we all have our own opinions and sometimes that comes out in what we write, but for the most part I would say that the journos in F1 do their research and write only what they can back up, stating rumour as rumour and fact as fact so as to avoid any confusion.

      My article, as written, merely acted as a vessel for the words attributed to Mr Petrovic in an interview with the Russian Press.

      I have noted the rebuttal with interest, and I guess as with all things of this nature, the truth will out.

      • No probs Will and thanks for the reply.
        I guess its hard for you guys to get it right all the time!
        As you say, im sure the truth will out re: petrov and his apparent lack of rubles… What a potential mess for Renault…

        • Thanks Tom. I wouldn’t say we’re necessarily wrong on this one… afterall, exactly what did the statement say? Not a great deal. It certainly didn’t say anything about the finances, which afterall is what all of the hubbub is about.

          We’ll see. The next few weeks will be very interesting indeed. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this one.

  6. Will.. any news on Petrov’s sponsorship money situation? If he doesnt pay the first installment by March will he get dropped by Renault? Do you have any contacts at Enstone you could ask?
    On a side note i heard JV has found some sponsorship money.. well i can but dream…. :)

    • Hi Tom

      I’m afraid it would seem a dream may be all it will be.

      While there’s some debate as to where Petrov’s money is coming from, I think that in the end the money will arrive from somewhere.

  7. Post script: Thirty minutes ago, Petrov won his first F1 points in his fourth race by finishing seventh at the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix. He was two places behind Renault teammate Robert Kubica.

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