Vitaly Petrov’s manager has suspended efforts to find the Russian a seat in Formula One for next year amid financial worries and could abandon the sport altogether, she told R-Sport on Tuesday.
Caterham’s Petrov is the only Russian driver in F1’s history, with a best career finish of third for Lotus Renault at the Australian Grand Prix last year.
“We’ve taken a timeout now. I need time to consolidate all our financial possibilities and understand if there’s sense in continuing any talks,” Petrov’s manager Oksana Kosachenko said, referring to negotiations with unspecified F1 teams.
“If there’s no money, then there’s no driver.”
Last month, Kosachenko told R-Sport the Russian government had pulled its funding for Petrov, who is backed by state-controlled Russian Helicopters and private chemicals manufacturer Sibur, a move that could end his F1 career.
Petrov did not find a 2012 seat until February, when he edged out veteran Italian driver Jarno Trulli to take a seat at Caterham, and Kosachenko said Tuesday she would not take part in any more last-ditch negotiations.
“I’m not prepared to hold talks all winter like last time,” she said, adding that Petrov would look at “other projects” if he did not have a drive by the end of the season.
Kosachenko said last month that she was in talks with Caterham and three other teams. On Tuesday, she appeared to accuse Caterham of favoring Petrov’s teammate Heikki Kovalainen.
“We’re very pleased for Tony that he has positive news,” she said, a reference to recent statements from owner Tony Fernandes that the team is making progress.
“But we’d like it if this news had some sort of connection to the car’s development and not just to Heikki.”
Petrov recorded the team’s joint-best finish of 13th this year in Valencia, matched only by Kovalainen’s 13th place in Monaco.