No Italian job in 2012
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali admits he is sad there will be no Italian driver in Formula 1 this season.
Last Updated: 18/02/12 6:49pm
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has spoken of his sadness that there will be no Italian driver in Formula One this season for the first time in almost 40 years.
The scenario has arisen after Caterham's decision on Friday to axe 37-year-old veteran Jarno Trulli in favour of Vitaly Petrov just four weeks prior to the start of the new season.
The move has brought to an end Trulli's 15-season F1 career in which he made a total of 251 grand prix starts.
Speaking on Ferrari's website, Domenicali said: "I am very sad that after so many years there will not be an Italian driver in the Formula One world championship field.
"I say this on the sporting front and on a personal level when it comes to Jarno, who only on a few occasions has had a car capable of showing off his talents."
Domenicali, however, appreciates the current economic climate and Caterham's desire to offer Russian Petrov a seat given the opportunities for sponsorship from his homeland.
Domenicali added: "It's a difficult moment for our sport, partly for external reasons."
Rubens Barrichello is another F1 veteran who recently lost his drive with Williams, with younger Brazilian Bruno Senna taking up the seat, partly due to the sponsorship he brings with him.
Speaking on his Twitter account, Barrichello said: "Sad to see Trulli won't be on the 2012 grid...money is dominating everything."
Luca Filippi, runner-up in last year's GP2 championship, also expressed his exasperation and disappointment after he too was denied the opportunity to claim a drive, outlining the parlous state of the Italian economy as the overriding factor.
"Sad day for Italian motor sport," Filippi said. "From being the most represented country in F1, to this year we are just going to be spectators.
"We all knew this day was going to come. Nobody did anything about it, probably nobody cares about it. Sad, sad day."