Petrov confirmed as Pirelli tester

Vitaly Petrov will be the test driver for Pirelli in 2012, his manager said in a statement on Wednesday.The Russian lost his drive this year when the Lotus F1 Team decided to hire Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

His manager Oksana Kosachenko is making no comment about rumours that Petrov might land the second Caterham drive, replacing veteran Jarno Trulli. The Italian has been announced as one of the team’s drivers for 2012 but this has not stopped rumours that he will stand down to make way for a younger driver.

The problem at the moment for Pirelli is that the Toyota that they have used for testing is now out of date and it is not clear what car Pirelli can use this year, as the teams are wary of one chassis or another being used to develop the tyres, lest the resulting tyres suit one team better than another. Pirelli F1 tyre boss Paul Hembery said that the matter needs to be discussed by the F1 Commission as having actual testing is important in tyre development.

A Pirelli testing contract would not stop Petrov joining a team if a race deal was on offer.

26 thoughts on “Petrov confirmed as Pirelli tester

  1. Can you provide “his manager” statement? According Russian sources – he will be test-pilot for two days in Abu Dhabi and participate with Pirelli event in St.Petrsburg (which is not cross with F1 schedule). He PROBABLY will negotiate test-driver role for 2012.

  2. Get the Toyota TF110 out! I guess that’s as up to date as you can get (although it was never tested or developed so that could lead to other issues…)

  3. Joe are you sure about that? No other source seems to confirm him as a test driver. Just that he will be there. He even talk to some and never said that his definitely the Pirelli test driver. He said that he was simply invited.

  4. Pirelli should offer to pay the expenses of a few post GP tests. That way they can use prototype tires on current GP cars and maybe offer the reserve drivers more seat time.

  5. good for him! Testing hopefully will keep him in race shape should an offer open up.
    Somehow Petrov reminds me of Kobayashi – not quite quick enough to compete with the frontrunners, but not at all timid and so puts up an enjoyable battle when he does find his way into the top 10.

  6. Doh!!!! Paul Hembrey has denied this rumour. Looks like Crapov is still looking for somewhere to put his a55!!! I know 1 place it aint going, and thats Ferrari…..EVER!!!! Russki phukwit!!!! Watching Fernando following this pr!ck while his 2010 title chance evaporated had me wanting to shovel 10 tons of sh!t over this stooopid (un7. Be glad to never see him again!!!!

    1. Prick? Any other driver, including your beloved Alonso, would have done the same thing. It’s a race… a race for position. Why should he give it up?

      He defended well, drove smartly and didn’t make a mistake. More importantly, he drove cleanly and kept a double world champion from passing him.

      Definitely a highlight in his otherwise mediocre career.

    2. I usually find that people swear because of their lack on intelligence at finding a more suitable word to describe what they are trying to say

    1. All well and good. Why would you fly an unemployed driver all the way to Abu Dhabi if you were not (a little interested). However, as Pirelli does not have a car for testing it is fairly irrelevant.

      1. Why fly him out? Three reasons: cheap, available and willing. He wants the exposure, he’s not a current F1 driver, so it’s not like he can charge an arm and a leg to make an appearance and he certainly isn’t tied up with sponsor events or simulator runs. Besides, any F1 driver (or any driver that got out of karts, really) could impress the average journalist in a road car around a track; most couldn’t tell between a Petrov lap and a Vettel lap.

        While Petrov shone on a few rare occasions, I think he’d lack the ability to give adequate technical feedback.

        Look at the currently available drivers: di Grassi, Liuzzi, Barrichello, Alguersuari, Heidfeld… Even Sutil would likely give better feedback. Just about any of the third drivers would be a good bet as well (D’Ambrosio, Buemi, Paffett).

        With all of these drivers available, why Petrov?

      2. You never know, Joe – maybe Caterham have agreed to let Pirelli use the T128 as a testing chassis, but as part of the agreement, they sent Petrov to Abu Dhabi for a guest appearance and start some rumours about joining Pirelli as test driver, only to annouce him as replacing Jarno Trulli a week later.

        It’s an unlikely scenario, but it would be a fun bit of misdirection.

  7. If no arrangement could be found with current teams supplying Pirelli with a car, it could be worth considering commissioning an outside chassis manufacturer to supply them with a car designed to the current regulations.

    It would be unlikely to work out for the upcoming season, considering the timeframe that would be involved if something like this was started now. Also, I’m guessing that it would be significantly more expensive to have to pay for a bespoke design, rather than on whatever basis they received the TF109 they used previously.

    1. If they need a more up to date car, I vote for them picking up and old chassis from the last placed team from that year – the net effect being, if any advantage is to be had, that the field tightens up. Of course, it could lead to dodgy tyre development because the car is a dog, so maybe not the best choice.

      And for the tester Pirelli tester job, surely Barrichello?

  8. It’s highly likely that Petrov is working for Pirelli, but they haven’t officially announced him as a test driver until they get a car. Would make sense.

  9. Perhaps they can source some cheap ex-HRTs? Don’t think there would be too many interested parties in those.

  10. Petrov is driving Schroedinger’s car. Until something is officially announced he in a state or flux between being and not being Pirelli’s test driver.

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