Petrov to debut with Mercedes-Benz
After a first test on an AMG C-Coupé car at the Portimão track last January, Russia’s first Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov will also become the country’s first Russian DTM driver, making his race debut at the wheel of a DTM Mercedes-Benz at the season opener, on 4th May in Hockenheim.
The DTM is a great racing series and I’m very happy that Mercedes-Benz are giving me the chance to compete against the world’s best touring car drivers in the DTM. – said Petrov – I’m aware that I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of me, but I love a challenge and accept it gladly. At my first test in Portimão, I was able to make my first acquaintance with the team and get a feel for the car, which is very important for me in order to play to my strengths. Motor racing is becoming ever more popular in Russia: last year, the DTM debuted at the Moscow Raceway and Sochi will host Formula 1 for the first time this year. I am certain that we will see many more Russian racing drivers in various series in the future and I hope that I can do my part in the DTM to make our sport more popular in my home country.
Vitaly had a successful test in our DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupe at Portimão and I’m sure that he will be valuable member of our team. Vitaly is a great sportsman and representative of his country, who has already demonstrated his ability by achieving, among other things, a podium finish in Formula 1. He will also be a great asset for Mercedes-Benz, especially in the Russian market. I am looking forward to see how things will develop within DTM. – said Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
Petrov finished second in the 2009 GP2 season and the following year moved up to Formula 1, where he raced 57 Grand Prix for Renault, Lotus Renault GP and Caterham.