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Jarno Trulli slams 'less committed' pay drivers

ESPNF1 Staff
December 28, 2011 « Daniel Ricciardo wants more aggression | Liuzzi admits his future is uncertain »
Jarno Trulli puts pressure on Williams' pay driver Pastor Maldonado at the Chinese Grand Prix © Sutton Images

Veteran Italian Jarno Trulli has hit out at the growing influence of so-called 'pay drivers' in Formula One.

Even though Trulli has one year of his contract at Caterham remaining, his position has been subject of speculation with Vitaly Petrov, who has been dumped by Renault, linked with a possible move.

But Trulli took a thinly-disguised swipe at what had happened at Renault in 2011 when it employed Petrov and Bruno Senna, both of whom brought considerable sponsorship with them.

"[Robert] Kubica is a great driver who can get the very best from the car," Trulli told La Repubblica. "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."

Senna replaced the experienced Nick Heidfeld mid-season. "With his experience, Nick scored almost as many points as Petrov even though he [Heidfeld] did only half the season," Trulli said. "There is no rule, but it is true that those who pay are less accustomed to suffering. They are less committed.

"Hiring them is a business decision but in my opinion it's not worth it."

However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the issue of pay drivers had grown out of hand. "For a team it has always been about finding the right balance between financial considerations and talent," he said. ""It's something that is as old as Formula One."

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