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Petrov signs to DTM with Mercedes

NEWS STORY
28/02/2014

Russian driver Vitaly Petrov, who drove for Renault, Lotus and Caterham, is heading to DTM with Mercedes.

The 29-year-old, who made his debut with Renault in 2010, contested 57 Grands Prix over the course of the next three seasons.

Though his tenth place finish in Brazil in 2012 allowed Caterham to leapfrog Marussia and thereby secure tenth in the Constructors' Championship, and with it a slice of the prize money pie, he was subsequently dropped by the Anglo-Malaysian outfit.

Ahead of the first round of the DTM series to be held in Russia, Petrov drove a Mercedes' C-Coupe DTM at the Moscow City Racing as part of a promotional event, subsequently driving a Mercedes' 'Race Taxi' at the Moscow Raceway.

Last month he tested with Mercedes at Portimao with a view to securing a regular seat in the series. Having clearly impressed, the Russian has now been signed to Mercedes.

"DTM is a great racing series and I'm very happy that Mercedes are giving me the chance to compete against the world's best touring car drivers", he said. "I'm aware that I've got a steep learning curve ahead of me, but I love a challenge and accept it gladly.

"Motor racing is becoming ever more popular in Russia," he contrinued, "last year, the DTM debuted at the Moscow Raceway and Sochi will host Formula 1 for the first time this year. I am certain that we will see many more Russian racing drivers in various series in the future and I hope that I can do my part in the DTM to make our sport more popular in my home country."

"I am looking forward to see how things will develop within DTM," said Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff. "Vitaly had a successful test in our DTM Mercedes C-Coupe at Portimao and I'm sure that he will be valuable member of our team.

"He is a great sportsman and representative of his country, who has already demonstrated his ability by achieving, among other things, a podium finish in Formula 1. He will also be a great asset for Mercedes, especially in the Russian market."

Another 'former' F1 driver lining up alongside Petrov for Mercedes this season is Paul di Resta, while Timo Glock drives for BMW Team MTEK.

The season gets underway at Hockenheim on 4 May.

Chris Balfe

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