Vitaly Petrov will be First Russian Driver - F1 betting

He and his teammate Robert Kubica won’t be favored in F1 odds but they should be fun to watch this season.

F1 betting is going to be focused on Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher early this season but now Renault will get some attention with Petrov. F1 odds have him replacing Romain Grosjean when went to BMW Sauber to replace Fernando Alonso, who went to Ferrari. Petrov has not been racing in Formula One for long and now he will get to share the F1 betting spotlight with drivers like Schumacher. "Ten years ago, I wasn't thinking about Formula One," Petrov said. "I didn't even know who Schumacher was."

Petrov has been driving in GP2 since 2006 as F1 betting indicated but this will be his first experience in a Formula One car. "I need to understand how I need to drive a Formula One car. I need to first of all do some laps to have a feeling with this car," Petrov said. "I have time to learn a little bit. My first target is to finish the races and then get some points."

Petrov was second to Nico Hulkenberg in last season's GP2 standings. F1 betting has the GP2 considered the series below F1 and drivers have come up from that series. Petrov is really breaking through for Russia. "(Motor sport is) zero in Russia," said Petrov, "No sponsors, nobody was helping from Russia. They must, they must wake up. We do it without any help. Now I think they will see us in Formula One and it will change things."

F1 betting indicates that Renault is counting on Petrov to really give their brand some appeal around the world. F1 odds have Renault also signing Ho-Pin Tung of China as a third driver. It is really a bold move by Renault that could pay big dividends down the road starting with Petrov. "This driver has the talent and we think that at some time that will help open up an interesting market. That's something that also appeals," team owner Gerard Lopez said.

The F1 betting season begins with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14th. Alonso, Schumacher and Hamilton are the three favorites in F1 odds to win the opening race of the season.