Russia could have its first Formula 1 driver in a matter of hours, as Vitaly Petrov's arrival at the Valencia track on Sunday heightened speculation he will be announced at Renault later today.
Renault has been evaluating several contenders for the slot alongside Robert Kubica in 2010, and the team even considered at one point waiting until after this week's first F1 preseason test before making a decision. However, Petrov has emerged as the leading contender over recent days – with sources suggesting he visited the Enstone, UK factory last week to further his talks.
Although the team has so far kept quiet about Petrov's position, he turned up at the Valencia track on Sunday and was seen in talks with Renault personnel, including team principal Eric Boullier, inside the team's motor home. The Russian, 25, finished in second place in last year's GP2 series, behind German Nico Hulkenberg, who will race for Williams this year.