Vitaly Petrov

Full Name:
Vitaly Aleksandrovich Petrov
Born:
8th September 1984 (Age 35)
Vyborg, Leningrad Oblast
Nationality:
Russian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Russia’s first world championship Grand Prix driver, Vitaly Petrov became a triple national champion by winning the 2002 Lada Cup and both Formula 1600 and Lada Revolution titles in 2005.

Education and early racing career

A graduate in meteorology from Moscow University, his first overseas experience was in Formula Renault during 2003 and 2004 although those seasons with the Euronova Junior team were largely unsuccessful. However, buoyed by his double success back home in 2005, Petrov rejoined Euronova for the following season and finished third in the 2006 Italian 3000 Championship. He also raced in GP2 with Dave Price’s Direxiv team from Hockenheim that year although he finished no higher than 10th.

A switch to Campos Grand Prix allowed Petrov to improve steadily throughout 2007. That culminated in Petrov beating team-mate Giorgio Pantano to win the feature race at Valencia’s championship finale. The off-season GP2 Asia Series confirmed that improvement with Petrov qualifying on pole position at Sentul, winning at Sepang and third in the final standings.

A consistent 2008 included another Valencia victory (albeit on the new harbour side Formula 1 circuit) and resulted in seventh in the championship. He again won in Malaysia during the 2008/09 GP2 Asia Series as he developed into a consistent if not pacesetting contender.

Nico Hülkenberg may have been the class of the field in the main 2009 GP2 Series but it was Petrov who ran him closest. The tall Russian remained with the renamed Barwa Addax concern and won two feature races to finish as runner-up.

Formula 1 with Renault and Caterham

Aided by sponsorship from his homeland, he graduated to F1 with Renault in 2010 for the first of two seasons with the team. There were incidents aplenty including regular contact with Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes-Benz during 2011.

Fifth in the Hungarian GP was the highlight of a tough rookie campaign although his performance in Abu Dhabi – when he held off Fernando Alonso for sixth – confirmed Sebastian Vettel’s first world title. He then out-performed his more experienced team-mate Nick Heidfeld at the start of 2011 and finished in a career-best third position in the Australian GP.

Tenth in the world championship, he was dropped at the end of 2011 following his public criticism of the team. He moved to Caterham instead and his 11th place in the 2012 Brazilian GP proved crucial as the team beat Marussia to 10th in the world championship.

Career after Formula 1

Having spent a year away from the sport, Petrov made an unsuccessful return with a works Mercedes-Benz in the German DTM touring car series. He qualified at the back of the field throughout that 2014 campaign and finished no higher than 11th at Zandvoort.

Again on the side-lines for a season, Petrov returned in the 2016 World Endurance Championship when sharing SMP Racing’s LMP2 BRE BR01-Nissan with countrymen Kirill Ladygin and Viktor Shaitar. Seventh overall and third in class at Le Mans was their best showing of the season.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2018/2019 World Endurance Championship
SMP Racing
8 0 4 0 4th 94
2018 Blancpain Endurance Series 41st 6
2017 World Endurance Championship
CEFC Manor TRS Racing
9 0 0 0 32nd 7
2016 World Endurance Championship
SMP Racing
9 0 0 0 18th 15.5
2014 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
AMG Mercedes
10 0 0 0
0% win rate
23rd 0
2012 F1 World Championship
Caterham F1 Team
19 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 0
2011 F1 World Championship
Lotus Renault GP
19 0 1 0
0% win rate
10th 37
2010 F1 World Championship
Renault F1 Team
19 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 27
2009 GP2 Series
Barwa Addax Team
20 2 7 2
10% win rate
2nd 75
2008/2009 GP2 Asia Series
Barwa Campos Team
11 (1) 0 3 1
10% win rate
5th 28
2008 GP2 Series
Campos Racing
20 0 3 1
5% win rate
7th 39
2008 GP2 Asia Series
Barwa Campos Team
9 (1) 1 4 1
12% win rate
3rd 33
2007 GP2 Series
Campos Racing
21 0 1 1
5% win rate
13th 21
2007 Le Mans Endurance Series 23rd 5
2006 GP2 Series
Dave Price Racing
8 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
2006 Euroseries 3000
Euronova Racing
16 (2) 0 9 4
25% win rate
3rd 72
2004 Euro F3000 Series
Euronova Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
2003 Euro F3000 Series
Euronova Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0