Podium finish was possible, says Petrov
13 June 2011 – Lotus Renault GP driver Vitaly Petrov insists he had a real chance of registering his second Formula 1 podium in Montreal on Sunday, battling for position with ultimate victor Jenson Button in the early stages of the race. Despite his best efforts, the Russian had to settle for a lonely fifth place at the chequered flag, finishing just over six seconds behind Michael Schumacher.
"Today, the conditions became very difficult after a few laps and stopping the race was the right decision," Petrov began. "There was absolutely no grip and the car was aquaplaning everywhere.
"When it restarted, we tried to make the most of our position: I was fourth because I decided not to change my tyres before the red flag. From then on, I was fighting for a good position.
"On one hand, finishing fifth after starting tenth is a good result but, on the other hand, I really feel we could have finished on the podium today. That said, I welcome these extra points, and I think we’re back on track after a couple of difficult races. A big thank you to the team for the work this weekend."
Team-mate Nick Heidfeld retired dramatically as a result of contact with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi at the first corner, sliding into the Turn 3 run-off area after his front wing detached itself.
"Naturally, the main disappointment for me is that I didn’t finish the race," he explained. "I was behind Kamui (Kobayashi) and then something happened. He slowed down suddenly and I hit the back of him, which resulted in my front wing coming off and me going off the track.
"I was on track for fifth and some good points, so it’s frustrating that more did not come from today after a decent qualifying session yesterday. Today was one of those unpredictable races and I just had to drive as well as I could in the circumstance. We will now look forward to Valencia where I hope to get some more points for the team."
The Heidfeld-Kobayashi incident can be viewed at GPUpdateTV