Vitaly Petrov says his Lotus Renault F1 team does not resent him for his outspoken criticism of them following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix earlier this month.
The Russian launched a verbal attack on his team on Russian TV following the race, criticizing Renault for poor strategy calls and a lack of car development. He later wrote an e-mail of apology to team staff, in which he said his comments were unnecessary, which was accepted by team boss Eric Boullier.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, Petrov said Renault was still fully behind him.
Petrov said: "I think now everything is good now. I talk with my engineers, with my mechanics, to explain to them that it's not like I wanted to tell them they were s***. They understand anyway. They understand me and they understand what's going on. Even Eric supported me after what I said, and I called him to say thank you.
"I think I shouldn't talk with the press about what's going on inside the team because the team already understand - I just maybe put more oil on the fire. But I think they also understand that I am not a robot and I cannot always be polite with the journalists about every weekend with the same problems. I was angry – not because of the team, just how the year was. I said already maybe I shouldn't talk straight after the race."
The Russian also said his team shared his frustration with a collective lack of progress this season, as the squad has slipped toward the tail end of the midfield following a strong start.
"It's difficult because [we] cannot fight with the people in front, so now [we] fight with Force India, Sauber, teams like this," he added. "We're supposed to fight much more in front. I understand this, they [the team] explain and I understand, and the team understand [my position]."