Vitaly Petrov: “You have to be on top of your game all the time in F1”

Vitaly, you experienced a tough weekend in Monaco. What did you learn from it?
Monaco was a really hard result for me. Even starting from 14th, our aim was to make it into the points, but we didn’t manage to get the maximum from the race on Sunday, and this is something that the team and myself have analysed together. I had hoped for more, but it showed me once again that this is how things are in Formula 1: you have to be on top of your game in every area, all the time, to get strong results.

Istanbul Park is generally a circuit that the drivers enjoy. Is it the same for you?
Yes, it’s a place that I like. You can overtake there, the circuit is wide and I enjoy the different kinds of corners – not just turn eight, but the rest of the lap too. To be honest, in GP2 turn eight was not so difficult but I will need to learn the circuit again in an F1 car. Like every race, my aim will be to do my maximum, and I’m pleased to be driving at a circuit I know well.

How important will it be to have a trouble-free weekend in Turkey?
Like I said, you have to be on top of everything in Formula 1, all through the weekend, if you want to get a good result. That means you’re always pushing hard. In Monaco, the gaps were really close, and I was pushing right to the limit to find the extra tenths of a second when I crashed in qualifying. For Turkey, I will be pushing hard again to do my best, but the target will be to put everything together and have a clean weekend.

What are your expectations for the weekend?
It’s hard to say; I think we will have to wait until Friday practice to see how the car is performing. In terms of qualifying, the target has to be to get in the top ten at least, and then we will see what happens on Sunday…