Boullier: Vitaly apologised and matter is closed
19 November, 2011
Nov.19 (Reuters) After headline capturing remarks made by Renault driver Vitaly Petrov this week, team principal Eric Boullier has smoothed over the incident in an interview published on the team’s website.
“Drivers are not robots, they’re human beings,” he said. “Like every driver Vitaly is a competitor. Had he been on the podium in Abu Dhabi he would have complained about not winning the race. We take this incident as exactly this — an incident.”
“Vitaly has apologised to the team and sent an email to all the staff at Enstone. As far as we are concerned the matter is closed,” explained Boullier.
“The interview was made minutes after Vitaly jumped out of the car last Sunday [after the Abu Dhabi GP]. The race was tough, he was upset not to have scored points, he was exhausted,” added the Renault team boss.
Russia’s first Formula One driver has a contract for next year although there has been media speculation about his future.
Sunday’s outburst triggered fresh speculation about his relations with the team who are changing their name to Lotus for 2012 after their main Malaysian backer.
Petrov started the season by finishing third in Australia but he has won just five points in the last 11 races.
His team mates have done no better, with Germany’s Nick Heidfeld replaced in August and Brazilian Bruno Senna managing to score only two points since then.
Petrov said the car was good for the first few races but the team had then failed to develop it.
“When the windtunnel developments came, the new parts, because of the front exhausts, they didn’t work. We worked on the front wing, the rear wing, the diffusers, the floor — but whatever we changed it was useless,” he said.