Formula One Fantasy - Renaults Vitaly Petrov 20 Sep 2011
Getting a foot on the Formula One ladder is hard enough for any young driver, but when youre from a country yet to make a big impression on the sport, its even harder. But thats just what Renaults Vitaly Petrov managed last year when he became Russias first F1 driver. Living the dream he may be, but Petrov still has plenty of other items on his wish list, including driving alongside McLarens Lewis Hamilton around the streets of St Petersburg and celebrating his first world title with friends in his home town of Vyborg
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Vitaly Petrov: Of course it would be a Russian city. St Petersburg would be a perfect place. Imagine it along the Neva River. That would be fantastic scenery!
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
VP: I would not have to go back in time as I would choose Lewis Hamilton because I think he is a great diver. I like his driving style and the way he performs. I think he knows how to take the maximum out of a car - and obviously hes a fun person to be with.
Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
VP: That is a very hard question for me to answer. I havent even experienced traction control! (laughs) But sure, sound is important for Formula One racing, so bring back those roaring engines with the bone-chilling sound!
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
VP: I think we should stick to consistent rules over many, many years. All these changes make it difficult for the teams and irritating for the fans.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
VP: Maybe Spa. If they get it right with the weather it is a fantastic track that never bores.
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?
VP: I dont know - probably all of them.
Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
VP: Eau Rouge from Spa, the first sector in Suzuka and first corner of the Shanghai track.
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
VP: Now. Because I am right here, right now. I probably havent got enough imagination, but I am living in the present and dont think too much about the past. And safety is a bonus that is hard to beat!
Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?
VP: I want a much more generous tyre allocation.
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, who would you pick?
VP: I would go for three - Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team (excluding yourself and your current team mate)?
VP: As I would want to win as a team principal, I would choose Lewis Hamilton.
Q: Just 19 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
VP: I am pretty happy with the tracks weve got. If somewhere has dropped out it is probably for a reason
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
VP: I cannot say. I would probably want to have a private dinner with friends.
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?
VP: Again, why must we go back in time? I think right now everybody would want to drive a Ferrari or a Red Bull. If I have to go back in time it would probably be to drive one of Sennas or Prosts winning cars
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
VP: I am happy with what I have now so theres no need to dream up new needs.
Q: Imagine you have just won the world title. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would choose from the menu?
VP: I would go to my town, Vyborg, and I would celebrate with all my friends. It would be a family and friends affair. Food wouldnt play a big role and the drinks would depend on the situation.
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