Domenicali 'very sad' at the lack of Italian drivers in F1

Domenicali 'very sad' at the lack of Italian drivers in F1

19 February 2012 – Stefano Domenicali has expressed his thoughts about the absence of Italian drivers in Formula 1 for 2012, branding himself 'very sad'.

The last remaining Italian on the grid was Jarno Trulli who was partnered up alongside Heikki Kovalainen at Caterham. With Trulli's departure and subsequent replacement by Vitaly Petrov announced on Friday, this leaves the field with a distinct lack of Italian blood for the first time in 42 years.

"I am very sad that, after so many years there will not be an Italian driver in the Formula 1 world championship field," said Domenicali, who began his career as race director at Mugello. "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.

"So here, I wish him all the best for the future, both in racing and away from the track. It's a difficult moment for our sport, partly for external reasons."

The Ferrari Team Boss explained how their Driver Academy hopes to bring a new generation of Italian racers to the top tier of motorsport.

"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."

Formula 1 will now look to the likes of Mirko Bortolotti and Luca Filippi. Bortolotti won the Formula Two championship in 2011, while Filippi finished runner up in the Formula 1 feeder category GP2.

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