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Petrov wants to race Ferrari and McLaren in 2011

Vitaly Petrov has announced he will try to re-pay Russia’s support by being a formula one frontrunner in 2011.

The 26-year-old has a new two-year contract with Renault, but prime minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Petrov “needs financial support” whilst announcing state technology company Rostekhnologii as a new sponsor for the Vyborn-born driver.

“I will try to do everything in my hands to fight with the leaders Ferrari and McLaren,” said Petrov after his meeting with Putin and industry leaders, according to Spanish sports newspaper Marca.

“We will see how the team has prepared the new car,” added Petrov, who said the new black and gold Renault’s performance will depend heavily on the February tests.

Putin said: “Vitaly Petrov is becoming increasingly known by motor racing fans.  He has signed a contract for two years and obviously needs help.

“Mainly financial support.  So we met to discuss this issue,” he revealed.