Di Grassi Blames Sponsorship for Virgin Seat Loss

Lucas di Grassi insisted that the only reason why he failed to secure an extension to his 2010 deal with Virgin Racing was because he ran out of sponsorship money, not because he wasn't F1 material.

Talking to the Arena SporTV programme earlier this week, the 26-year old Brazilian addressed the issue of sponsorship in F1, revealing that Virgin was looking for a driver who could bring sponsorship money to the team. And since his backing stopped at the end of 2010, his seat at Banbury could not be guaranteed for an additional campaign.

I had a contract with Virgin but I needed a new sponsorship. I could not get one, and the Belgian did", explained Di Grassi, while admitting that his next focus for 2012 is to secure a racing seat back into the Great Circus. According to recent reports, a testing job with Pirelli is on the horizon.

Now I'm in a phase of restructuring to get back in (F1) next season,” he added.

Not getting to race in F1 doesn't mean Di Grassi will stop paying attention to what goes on in the series, and the Brazilian driver already seems to have a clear picture for the 2011 Formula 1 championship.

Even when you're driving, it's hard to know what to think based upon the tests. But I think Red Bull are still very strong as are Ferrari,” he said. “McLaren are either hiding something or will not be so good for the start of the season.
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