Dec.12 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Vitaly Petrov’s plans for the 2012 season will be announced before the end of December.
That is the claim of his manager Oksana Kosachenko, following Lotus’ decision to replace the Russian – despite his 2012 contract – with new GP2 champion Romain Grosjean.
“First of all, I’d like to thank all our partners and fans for the support Vitaly received during those two seasons,” Kosachenko told sportbox.ru.
The Ria Novosti news agency claimed Kosachenko bemoaned the “testy relationship” between Petrov and the team in 2011.
“I stress that we have an excellent relationship with the Lotus Renault team,” she insisted, “and together with them we have now come up with another programme for Vitaly.
“We’ll announce it before the New Year. So it’s not the end of Petrov’s career, but his transition into a new phase.”
It is rumoured Petrov, 27, could switch to Marussia, the former Virgin team that from next season will be named after the Russian supercar marque.
That rumour has thrown into doubt the future of the team’s number one driver Timo Glock.
Kosachenko confirmed recent talks with two alternative F1 teams but would not name them.
Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper repeated a rumour that Lotus decided to oust Petrov because Kimi Raikkonen was nervous about being beaten by the Russian in 2012 due to his experience with the Pirelli tyres.
More likely is that Marussia needs the money promised by Petrov’s sponsors.
Citing the team’s latest financial documents, journalists Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid reported that Virgin made a huge $55 million loss in the 14 months to the end of 2010.