Vitaly Petrov’s manager, Oksana Kosachenko, said she burst into tears when she saw her client climbing onto the podium after his historic third place finish at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
“I just can’t express my feelings with words: when I saw Vitaly on the podium, I burst into tears. We’ve set very high standards in the very first race of the season: now we’ll have to try to keep it up during the whole championship. And I want to believe that we’ll be able to do it throughout the year,” she told Sportbox.ru.
Kosachenko has been with Petrov for over ten years, making him the first ever and so far only Russian in Formula 1.
“We were all very tired after the race. This Grand Prix been very emotional, but we're happy. The main thing at the moment is to put together all the ingredients of this success and analyze how we can use them in the future. The team’s work this past off-season and preparations in preseason testing played a major role in Vitaly’s achievement. I also want to draw attention to the fact that Petrov and his race engineer have developed complete mutual understanding and trust: they jointly develop tactics and quietly, step by step, and perform the scheduled program,” Kosachenko explained.
Petrov received his and Russia’s first ever podium in Melbourne, while his Lotus Renault teammate – Nick Heidfeld, who replaced injured Robert Kubica, could only finish 12th.
“Unfortunately, Vitaly’s teammate – Nick Heidfeld – could not achieve good results in Australia, but we hope that in future he will drive very fast. He’s a good, experienced pilot and everything must be OK with him in future races,” she said.
The 26-year-old Petrov made his Formula 1 debut for Renault at the start of the 2010 season. He finished 13th in the overall Drivers’ Championship, with a fifth place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix being the best result of his first season.