Feb.18 (GMM) Rubens Barrichello on Saturday said it is "sad" another established Formula One veteran, Jarno Trulli, has lost his race seat.
After 19 consecutive seasons, Barrichello is poised to switch to Indycar in 2012, while Trulli - who made his debut in 1997 and is a Monaco Grand Prix winner - has lost his seat to Vitaly Petrov.
"Money is dominating everything," said Barrichello, with Caterham even admitting that the "global economic market" influenced the decision to replace Trulli with the well-backed Russian.
And with F1 now not boasting an Italian driver for the first time since the end of the 60s, Trulli lamented that no one is poised to succeed him.
"During a crisis as we have in our country, I can't see how a youngster can find the help needed to be considered by any team," he told the Ansa news agency.
"I knew of the difficult economic situation that would force the (Caterham) team to look for a driver with adequate backing," added the 37-year-old.
Money is dominating everything
Also lamenting the new dearth of Italian drivers, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted: "It's a difficult moment for our sport, partly for external reasons."
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said former Lotus driver Petrov is bringing a "double digit" sum in the millions to Caterham for Trulli's 2012 seat.