Jarno Trulli has said that F1 – and its various feeder series - is becoming too expensive for a number of the young drivers looking to find a way into the sport.
The Italian, one of the most experienced members of the grid, insists he couldn't have made it to F1 in the same way he did had he been a young driver starting out his career.
Trulli was a success in Italian and European karting championships before clinching the German F3 title – which paved the way to him making his debut in F1 with Minardi.
"Today it is so difficult for young drivers," he told Auto Motor und Sport
. "Money is playing too big a role and the lower series like Formula 3 are too expensive. I couldn't repeat my own career these days."
Trulli, who insisted that he 'deserves a medal' for the way his first season with Lotus panned out [See separate story HERE
] will hope to make progress during the 2011 season and he admitted that the team has work to do to close the gap to the established teams on the grid.
"In the end we are all in the same race and the incumbents should respect those who are just beginning," he said. "On the other hand it is true that four seconds behind is too much. Now we are a year further ahead and we need a big aero step and a lighter and stiffer car. There is an awful lot to do and if we can do it, then we can fight with the back of the midfield."