Trulli: No support for Italian talent
Ousted Caterham driver bemoans national "impoverishment"
Last Updated: 18/02/12 6:48pm
Jarno Trulli: Says there is no system in place in Italy to help young drivers
Jarno Trulli has said Italy only has itself to blame for its lack of Formula 1 drivers as there is "no system" in place to help youngsters reach the top.
With Caterham's announcement on Friday that Trulli has been replaced by Russia's Vitaly Petrov, Italy is left without an F1 driver on the grid for the first time since 1973.
"Formula One without Italian drivers is a shame," the 37-year-old told the country's Ansa news agency.
"I'm sorry but the problem is not mine: others must take responsibility for this impoverishment, for a situation that in fact did not start yesterday and that people have not woken up to.
"In Italy there's no system to help drivers reach a high level, so it's normal that we reach a situation like this. There are talents, but if nobody supports them there's no hope."
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Trulli also shed some light on his departure, which came less than a week after he insisted his Caterham race seat was "safe".
However, it now appears that Trulli had expected he would have to make way for ex-Lotus Renault driver Petrov, who is well-backed in terms of sponsorship.
"Personally I'm not displeased: I was prepared for a possible divorce from Caterham, in the knowledge that the difficult economic situation would have pushed the team to find an adequately-supported driver," he added.
"Small teams have certain needs and contracts are clear. I hope that, with Petrov's contribution, all the people who work there can have a more serene future."