Date: 20th February 2012 at 10:03am
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As expected veteran driver Jarno Trulli has been replaced by Caterham [Lotus] for the 2012 Formula One World Championship.

The 37-year-old did have a contract for the upcoming season, but once Lotus [Renault] announced that they would be dropping Vitaly Petrov, the Russian driver had been heavily linked to move, which would see Trulli lose his seat.

The decision for Caterham is one of money and performance.

27-year-old Petrov brings a substantial sponsorship package to the team, which simply carries a lot of weight in modern day Formula One, but unlike other drivers, Petrov also brings some undoubted talent and with Trulli’s performances last season somewhat disappointing, this move makes a lot of sense on two levels.

‘It was [a decision] we made to ensure we give fresh impetus across the whole team and with a realistic eye on the global economic market.’ Team principal Tony Fernandes told the BBC.

‘As the first Russian to race in F1 [Petrov] carries the hopes of a huge nation with ease and his talents, experience with one of our current competitors, and insights on and off track will play a huge role in our development as we fight to join the established teams ahead.’

Heikki Kovalainen out qualified Trulli in 16 of the 18 races they were team-mates for last season, which was a critical factor when Trulli had previously been known as a strong qualifier.

Trulli technically beat Kovalainen in the F1 standings in 2011, but with neither driver scoring a point, this was down to Trulli finishing 13th more times than Kovalainen, however it was the Finn who consistently impressed, while the Italian struggled.

Petrov has had 38 Grand Prix starts so far during his career, scoring 37 points last season to finish the season 10th in the drivers standings. He has also finished on the podium once during his career.