Feb.21 (GMM/Inautonews.com) 1980 world champion Alan Jones has backed Caterham’s decision to dump Jarno Trulli.
Despite having extended the Italian veteran’s contract for 2012, the former Lotus team decided at the last minute to sign the well-backed Russian Petrov.
Caterham explained that Petrov brings “fresh impetus” to the team, whilst also admitting that the decision was made “with a realistic eye on the global economic market”.
One French report has calculated the 27-year-old’s sponsorship contributions at EUR 12 million, including money from Russia’s largest petrochemical company Sibur.
But the straight-talking Australian Jones, who won Williams’ first drivers’ title three decades ago, said Caterham was also right to oust Italian Trulli on performance criteria.
Told that Heikki Kovalainen “destroyed” Trulli in 2011, Jones said: “I think he was destroyed by everybody, wasn’t he?”
On Caterham’s decision, he told GMM/Inautonews.com: “In my opinion Trulli wasn’t doing the job so it would have made it a pretty easy decision to get in this younger guy who is perhaps a bit keener, a big hungrier.
“It’s also a fact that he (Petrov) is bringing in money, so to me it’s a no-brainer,” added Jones.