(Recasts with Petrov quotes)
By Ian Gordon
ABU DHABI Jan 25 Vitaly Petrov hoped his
future in Formula One will be sorted out in the next week as he
emerged as a contender for a test driver role at tyre supplier
Pirelli on Wednesday.
The Russian has also been linked with a move to
Malaysian-owned Caterham F1, as a replacement for Italian
veteran Jarno Trulli, after losing his race seat at Renault (now
Lotus) at the end of last season.
"If I said something it will be made into lots, I cannot say
anything about what I will do this year," Petrov told reporters
after making an unexpected appearance at a Pirelli presentation
in Abu Dhabi.
"But please wait a little bit, another week. I want to say
something but I can't say at the moment.
"I want to stay in F1 because if I lose one year then it
will be very difficult to come back and to take some places for
2013. So it is important to stay."
The season starts in Melbourne, Australia, on March 18.
Asked why he was attending the event at the Yas Marina
circuit, the 27-year-old added: "They asked me to come and be
part of this event, so I drive some cars and talk to some people
and work with them.
"Now in Russia, Pirelli is working quite close and maybe in
the future we can do some good deals so maybe I will not test
Pirelli but maybe we can work together in different parts."
Brazilian Lucas di Grassi is also expected to remain as a
test driver, but Pirelli's Motorsports Director Paul Hembery
indicated there was also a role for Petrov.
"We will see how it goes," he said. "There is always a lot
of tyre development work to do, and we are eager to have a
driver who has experience of racing from the previous year."
Petrov was highly critical of Renault after a disappointing
result in last November's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and was then
replaced by Frenchman Romain Grosjean for this season.
"I think I understand I should not talk about the team like
this, but what is done is done and I don't need to be angry
about what happened," he said.
"Already it is the New Year, it is finished so I am fully
ready for next year. It is racing. Sometimes you have a good
result, sometimes you have a bad one. So I think it is better
not to talk about it."
(Editing by Alan Baldwin)