Vitaly Petrov, respected GP2 driver has tabled an offer to the Renault F1 Team of around €15million to gain a race seat for next season alongside Robert Kubica.
Petrov, who finished in 2nd place in last years GP2 series, is desperate to secure an F1 drive and along with being quick he has the sponsorship profile which will be attractive to Renault, a team attempting to re-invent themselves and their image following turmoil in 2009 with crash gate and top sponsor ING walking out on them.
Petrov’s money comes from a variety of sources but most notably the Gazprom natural gas supplier, the biggest miner of gas in the world.
Willi Weber, Michael Schumacher’s manager runs Vitaly Petrov and says that pay drivers in F1 are nothing new, and are becoming more frequent as sponsors dry up.
“Only six or seven top drivers earn real money, the rest bring it to their teams,” said Weber.
“And whoever starts doing it, needs to keep doing it for his entire career, unless he is an exceptional talent.”