Mansell and Alesi tip Petrov for 2011 win
23 June 2011 – Former F1 stars Nigel Mansell and Jean Alesi have expressed their unanimous praise for Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who surprised all by claiming a rostrum result at the opening Grand Prix of 2011. In the opinion of the 1992 World Champion, the Russian is in good shape to enjoy a maiden race victory this season.
“Vitaly has done a fantastic job under a lot of duress this year,” Englishman Mansell is quoted as saying by The Sun, having enjoyed 28 wins for Williams and three for Ferrari between 1985 and 1994. “I can see great things from him, going up against big names like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull.
“You may think that the best you can do is finish seventh - and I had that upwards of seven years in F1 – but, if you are there, you are ready to pick up the pieces when things go wrong. So don't be surprised if he doesn't surprise himself and win a race this year. That would be fantastic.”
“Straight away this year, Vitaly was on the podium,” added French-Sicilian Alesi, whose sole win came for Ferrari at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix. “He surprised everybody. The jump he has made from last year to this year is huge and the position he took in Melbourne was not by luck.”