Petrov: I cannot make any mistakes

Vitaly Petrov will be wanting to make amends for a disastrous showing at Suzuka

Vitaly Petrov will be wanting to make amends for a disastrous showing at Suzuka

Oct.18 (Renault) Vitaly Petrov has a sdeason of mixed fortunes. At times he has worked wonders with the Renault R30, but on some occasions his rookie status has been blatantly obvious. Case in point: Japan where he hardly made it out of his grid slot before slamming the barriers on the main straight at the start. The Russian looks ahead to Korea where he no doubt will want to  make amends.

2010 Japanese Grand Prix - Sunday Race Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan. 10th October 2010. Vitaly Petrov, Renault R30. World Copyright:Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _Q0C9921

Vitaly on the Suzuka grid

What have you done to prepare for the next race in Korea?
It’s hard to do any special preparation because it’s a brand new circuit and there have not been any races there yet. This means there is very little information available. All I have done is some simulator work to help me learn the track. Because it’s a new circuit, I think this makes life a little bit easier for me because everybody will be in the same situation and will have to learn the track.

Talk us through your usual approach for learning a new circuit?
The best thing is to walk the track and see it for yourself. Then, I like to do some laps on my bike to understand as much as I can. You have to look at things like the kerbs and the run-off areas. All this is helpful, but you obviously learn the most during the first free practice session. It’s important that you know the lap by the end of this first session.

Vitaly had his shortest Grand Prix - in his short F1 career - in Japan

Vitaly had his shortest Grand Prix - in his short F1 career - in Japan

What are your initial thoughts on the layout of the track?
It looks like a tricky circuit. The third sector looks quite a challenge because it’s low-speed with most corners probably taken in second or third gear. Turns seven and eight will be quick corners and there are three long straights where it’s important to use the f-duct. Overall I think it will be quite a good circuit for our car. There should also be some opportunities for overtaking.

With just three races remaining, what targets are you setting yourself?
I always try to be in the top ten and that must be the target this weekend. I think we had the potential to do this in Suzuka, but I need to make sure I don’t make any mistakes. Scoring points is important and that will be my aim in Korea.

How excited were you to hear news of a Russian Grand Prix in Sochi from 2014?
I’m very proud that my country has made this decision, which will make F1 even more popular in Russia. Almost all the drivers already have a home race so I hope that I can experience the same special feeling of racing at home in a few years’ time.