Petrov: I want to say something about 2012 but I can't

Vitaly Petrov during the Pirelli 2012 F1 tyre launch in Abu Dhabi
Vitaly Petrov during the Pirelli 2012 F1 tyre launch in Abu Dhabi

Jan.25 (Reuters) Vitaly Petrov hoped his future in Formula One will be sorted out in the next week as he emerged as a contender for a test driver role at tyre supplier Pirelli on Wednesday.

Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Vitaly was ousted from the Lotus squad at the end of 2011

The Russian has also been linked with a move to Malaysian-owned Caterham F1, as a replacement for Italian veteran Jarno Trulli, after losing his race seat at Renault (now Lotus) at the end of last season.

“If I said something it will be made into lots, I cannot say anything about what I will do this year,” Petrov told reporters after making an unexpected appearance at a Pirelli presentation in Abu Dhabi.

“But please wait a little bit, another week. I want to say something but I can’t say at the moment.

“I want to stay in F1 because if I lose one year then it will be very difficult to come back and to take some places for 2013. So it is important to stay.”

The season starts in Melbourne, Australia, on March 18.

Asked why he was attending the event at the Yas Marina circuit, the 27-year-old added: “They asked me to come and be part of this event, so I drive some cars and talk to some people and work with them.

The Pirelli 2012 pre-season media event (L-R) Maurizio Boyocchi (ITA), Pirelli's senior vice president of product and R&D; Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA),
Vitaly with President of the Pirelli Group Marco Tronchetti Provera and Pirelli models during the Abu Dhabi launch

“Now in Russia, Pirelli is working quite close and maybe in the future we can do some good deals so maybe I will not test Pirelli but maybe we can work together in different parts.”

Brazilian Lucas di Grassi is also expected to remain as a test driver, but Pirelli’s Motorsports Director Paul Hembery indicated there was also a role for Petrov.

“We will see how it goes,” he said. “There is always a lot of tyre development work to do, and we are eager to have a driver who has experience of racing from the previous year.”

Petrov was highly critical of Renault after a disappointing result in last November’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and was then replaced by Frenchman Romain Grosjean for this season.

“I think I understand I should not talk about the team like this, but what is done is done and I don’t need to be angry about what happened,” he said.

“Already it is the New Year, it is finished so I am fully ready for next year. It is racing. Sometimes you have a good result, sometimes you have a bad one. So I think it is better not to talk about it.”