Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali says he is very disappointed that Formula 1 will have no Italian drivers on the grid in 2012.
Jarno Trulli was the only Italian with a contract for the upcoming season, but on Friday Caterham announced he will be replaced by Vitaly Petrov. The move leaves the grid for the first race of the season without an Italian for the first time since 1970.
"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. "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.
"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."
Fellow veteran Rubens Barrichello, also without a drive for 2012 after nearly 20 years in the sport, lamented Trulli's situation, too.
"Sad to see that Trulli won't be on the 2012 grid...money is dominating everything," the Brazilian posted on Twitter.
Barrichello is continuing to mull a possible move to IndyCar racing in lieu of an F1 drive.