Jarno Trulli Out... Vitaly Petrov In... Caterham F1 Announces Driver Change for 2012 Season
Jarno Trulli Out... Vitaly Petrov In... Caterham F1 Announces Driver Change for 2012 Season

In a statement released by the team, Caterham F1 Team, have announced that Russian driver Vitaly Petrov will be replacing Italian Jarno Trulli, effective immediately, for the 2012 Formula 1 season.

The Russian driver has already been to the team's factory in Hingham for a seat-fitting, ahead of the team's second pre-season multi-team test, scheduled to happen between Feb. 21 and Feb. 24, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

"We are all delighted to welcome Vitaly into our team and are very excited about the role he will play in helping us take the next steps forward in 2012 and for many years to come. When we first met it was immediately clear that Vitaly understands and shares our vision for how we want our team to grow," said Caterham's team principal, Tony Fernandes.

"I also want to take this opportunity to thank Jarno for the absolutely pivotal role he played in the formation and progression of our team since he joined us in December 2009. Jarno knew that when he joined us it would be a very different environment to where he had been before, and when we gave him the package he wanted he absolutely shone. With that in mind it was not an easy decision to bring Vitaly in to replace Jarno, but it was one we made to ensure that we give fresh impetus across the whole team and with a realistic eye on the global economic market. Jarno has an incredible natural talent behind the wheel, and his winning record and longevity in the sport will bear testament to that talent in the Formula 1 annals forever," he added.

Caterham F1 raced under the name Team Lotus in the 2011 Formula 1 Championships, with Finn Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli and Indian Karun Chandhok (who participated in only the German Grand Prix) as their drivers. The team finished 10th in the standings and failed to secure any Championship points.

The 2012 Formula 1 season will start on March 16, in Melbourne, Australia.