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Petrov must increase commitment to F1 team – Lopez

If Vitaly Petrov pledges more commitment in order to become consistently fast, there is “no question” he will retain his Renault race seat in 2011, the team’s owner insists.

Group Lotus’ newly announced collaboration with the Enstone based team was seen as a boost to the 26-year-old’s chances, given Proton’s eagerness to leverage Genii’s links with the Russian market.

“It (the Russian link) opens up a lot of possibilities for us but mainly for our shareholders,” confirmed Lotus CEO Dany Bahar in an interview with the Telegraph.

Team owner Genii’s Gerard Lopez said Russian rookie Petrov is “our favourite choice” to be Robert Kubica’s teammate next year, but there have been doubts about his speed and consistency.

“We believe he has got the speed, he just doesn’t have the consistency,” he admitted.

Petrov, who is currently recovering from eye surgery, must demonstrate a higher commitment to F1 and the British based team, Lopez confirmed to the Reuters news agency.

“Part of the discussion is that he needs to accept a certain change in life, he needs to accept to move to the UK and be close to the factory,” he said.

“He needs to accept to be in an English-speaking environment all the time and if he accepts those things, and if we believe that through those things he can deliver consistency, then there’s no question about who is going to be our second driver,” added Lopez.

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