Date: 20th February 2012 at 10:20am
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With Jarno Trulli being replaced at Caterham for the 2012 Formula One season, the sport will have no Italian drivers on the grid for the first time in 40 years.

For many Italians, Formula One and Ferrari is in their blood and yet a nation that is so passionate about the sport appears to have missed a generation in terms of drivers.

Trulli was the last Italian to be successful in Formula One, but with the 37-year-old losing his seat to Russian Vitaly Petrov, Italian fans will have no single driver to support this season.

Trulli believes that this is because Italy has not established a system to support drivers in the sport.

‘Formula One without Italian drivers is a shame, 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.’ Trulli told the Ansa news agency as quoted by Sky Sports.

‘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.’

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali hopes that situation will change with Ferrari’s Driver Academy, although the end product is to discover good racing drivers for Ferrari, it is likely that a young Italian driver could emerge through the system in time.

‘I am very sad that, after so many years there will not be an Italian driver in the Formula 1 world championship field,’ Domenicali told Ferrari’s official website.

‘For a few years now, Ferrari through its Driver Academy, has established a long term plan to create a new generation of young drivers, which works also in collaboration with the CSAI and I am pleased to see that just now, we can announce that two talented youngsters, Raffaele and Brandon, will be given a great opportunity to progress in the sport.’

The drivers in Ferrari’s Driver Academy are Jules Bianchi, a French driver born in 1989, Lance Stroll, a Canadian born in 1998, Sauber driver Sergio Perez and Swiss born Raffaele Marciello and French born Brandon Maisano.



 

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