Vitaly Petrov has moved into pole position to keep his Renault seat in 2011, with German sources reporting that three potential alternate candidates are now out of the running.

Vitaly Petrov has moved into pole position to keep his Renault seat in 2011, with German sources reporting that three potential alternate candidates are now out of the running.

And the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat said Citroen rally driver Kimi Raikkonen "has never been interested" in returning to formula one next year with anything other than a title-contending car.

The German sources said Adrian Sutil, Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock are no longer talking to Renault, because the Enstone based team is now on the verge of re-signing the Russian rookie Petrov.

Insiders suspected that political moves were afoot when team boss Eric Boullier said he would only take Raikkonen's apparent interest seriously if the reticent Finn met with him to prove his motivation.

"I want to understand more about his wish to come back," the Frenchman is quoted by The Sun newspaper.

As for Petrov, Boullier said he wants the 26-year-old to show more potential: "If he is already at the limit, then it is a different matter."

The Turun Sanomat report surmised that this, and the Raikkonen story, is to put "additional pressure on Petrov and his sponsors".

"I am not worried," Petrov said last week in Singapore when asked about those reportedly eyeing the 2011 race seat alongside Robert Kubica.

"Why must I worry? They must worry. I think I will continue to do my job and I think everything looks good," he added.

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