Vitaly Petrov joins Renault
Tung, d’Ambrosio and Charouz take reserve roles
Russian GP2 series runner-up Vitaly Petrov will race alongside Robert Kubica at Renault this year the team has confirmed today in Valencia at the launch of the new distinctive black and yellow R30 challenger.
Renault also confirmed that Ho-Pin Tung, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Jan Charouz join the squad in test and reserve roles.
Petrov, who is believed to have substantial backing from Russia, raced with Barwa Addax in 2009 notching up seven podium positions including two wins en route to second position behind new Williams signing Nico Hulkenberg.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to working with the team this season," said Petrov. "I’ve always dreamed of racing in Formula One and so to make my debut with a top team like Renault is very exciting. The first race is just over a month away so I will make sure I spend as much time as possible with the team over the next few weeks so that I am fully prepared in time for Bahrain.”
Ho-Pin Tung spent the 2009 season racing in the Superleague championship with Atletico Madrid and then Galatasaray. The Belgian racer Dutch-Chinese racer recorded a victory in the final race of the season at Jarama.
Jerome d’Ambrosio also competed in GP2 last year, finishing the season ninth with Dams. Both he and Tung will compete with Dams again this year in GP2.
The announcement of the first two test and reserve drivers is interesting as both are managed by Luxembourg-based Gravity Sport Management which in turn is part of Genii Capital, the investment firm that purchased the Renault F1 team in December 2009.
Charouz meanwhile most recently competed at Le Mans with Aston Marin alongside Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke, taking fourth position overall.
“This is a very special day for Vitaly and we welcome him into the team," said team principal Eric Boullier. "As a rookie, we recognise that Vitaly will have a lot to learn this season, but his performances in GP2 last year were outstanding and confirmed that he is ready to make the step up to Formula One.
"With Robert alongside him, Vitaly has the perfect role model to learn from and I’m confident he will deliver on the promise he has shown throughout his career.”