Caterham F1 Team has finally confirmed that Vitaly Petrov will race for the Anglo-Malaysian team alongside Heikki Kovalainen in the 2012 FIA Formula 1 season.
The announcement means that previous driver Jarno Trulli is dropped from the squad as Giedo van der Garde has already been confirmed as the team's official reserve for 2012.
Petrov visited Caterham’s factory in Hingham in the UK last Friday for a seat fitting ahead of his first run with the team at the second pre-season test in Barcelona, Spain this coming weekend.
Caterham was the first team to unveil its new race car for the 2012 season, the CT01
. Powered by a Renault engine, the new CT01 is Caterham’s first race car though it’s based largely on last year’s chassis when the team was known as Team Lotus
After learning of his new role, Petrov said, "This is a very exciting day for me. I would like to thank Tony (Team Principal Tony Fernandes), Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin for giving me the chance to join a team that made its F1 debut at the same time as me, and has grown from one of the new teams to a serious force for future honors. The passion and spirit that Tony and the whole team have to keep moving forwards is infectious, and I am honored to be able to join them and play my part in helping the team mount a serious challenge to the teams ahead in 2012 and for many seasons to come.”
The departing Trulli, 37, has been an F1 fixture for the past 15 years, having driven for Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault, Toyota, and Lotus. During that time he won just one Gran Prix, the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix which he won for Renault.