Trulli: Pay drivers are less committed

Date published: December 28 2011

Jarno Trulli has voiced his unhappiness with the growing number of “pay drivers” on the F1 grid, saying they are “less committed”.

Although the Italian still has one year remaining on his Caterham contract, rumours are doing the rounds that the team could replace him with Vitaly Petrov as the Russian will bring sponsorship money with him.

The veteran, though, is not happy that so many drivers with big bucks are getting drives and took a swipe at Renault for employing a Petrov-Bruno Senna line-up during the latter stages of 2011 instead of sticking with Nick Heidfeld.

“Some teams are small and to survive they need to count the beans and so are forced to put the seat up for rent,” he told La Repubblica.

“These are economic decision. In my opinion it’s not worth it.

“Just look what happened to Renault. [Robert] Kubica is a great driver who can get the best out of the car, they were considered the outsiders. Because of that they were a dark horse. When Robert was out, that was the end. Petrov was not in a position to lead the team, and Senna showed that he was not good enough.

“With his experience, Nick scored almost as many points as Petrov even though he drove only half the season.”

He added: “There is no rule, but it is true that those who pay are less accustomed to suffering. They are less committed.

“When you go through the ranks, often as a young boy, many times you find yourself in the conditions of being forced to win. Either you get the result or you don’t have a second chance.”