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Petrov blasts his team

NEWS STORY
18/11/2011

Vitaly Petrov has launched an astonishing attack on his team, admitting that his future could now be in jeopardy.

Despite the pre-season loss of Robert Kubica, who was seriously injured in a rallying crash in February, Petrov and Nick Heidfeld got Lotus Renault GP's season off to the best possible start when they scored podium results in the opening two races.

However, for a variety of reasons, things started to go downhill from there as the British team lost touch with the leaders and, in the latter half of the season, found itself losing out to Force India and Toro Rosso.

Although fifth place in the Constructors' Championship looks secure, mainly thanks to those thirty points scored in the first two races, things do not look encouraging for 2012.

Nick Heidfeld, dropped after the Hungarian Grand Prix, has been replaced by Bruno Senna, who, despite initial promise, has largely failed to impress.

Clearly worried about the situation, Petrov, in a rare move for drivers, has openly criticised his team, even though it could signal the end of his career, certainly with Lotus Renault GP.

"Unfortunately I cannot say anything bad about the team, it says so in my contract," he told Rossiya 2. "But many things have already been written in the media.

"Read my interviews," he continued, "I don't criticise a team that lost many times. How much have we lost on pit stops? How much have we lost on tactics? Due to that kind of thing we lost places in, I would say, about ten races, if not more. Unfortunately, I couldn't say in an interview that we lost due to poor pit stops once again. I still can't speak about it, but on the same side I also can't remain silent, I've had enough of it, I can't keep everything inside.

"For almost ten races we have had absolutely nothing new, which, in fact, means we drive basically the same car we began the season with," he continued. "Of course, the first podium was inspiring, for me, the whole of Russia, all the fans. But then I was just angry with everything and tried to do something. Unfortunately, I can't say anything bad about the team, it is written down in my contract."

As if that wasn't enough, the Russian then appears to drive the final nail into any hopes he might have of lining up on the grid for the team - due to be renamed Lotus (Ugh!) next season.

"This is Formula One, it's a business. Gradually, they're just working to get more... maybe the price, maybe the sponsors, maybe the drivers around them. Look at the queue of drivers at Williams, I believe there are 20 people eager to take the second place there. Thank god I'm not in it.

"As for me, I think it is quite clear, I have a contract. But as I said before, even Kimi Raikkonen was asked to leave formula one for a certain amount," he added to the Finn's departure to make way for Fernando Alonso. "It's a world where everything is possible, it will be hard to oppose if they want to remove someone."

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