An understandably disappointed Lucas Di Grassi claims he was ousted from Virgin Racing by dint of the fact that his successor Jérôme d'Ambrosio had more money to bring to the table than he did.
Di Grassi was released by F1 2010 newcomer Virgin at the end of his rookie season in the top flight – a somewhat lacklustre campaign for the Brazilian during which he was routinely outpaced by team-mate Timo Glock and the nadir of which came when he inexplicably and heavily crashed out on his way around to the grid ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Foreseeing a year of 'transition' ahead for him in 2011 as he endeavours to rebuild his career and ultimately rejoin the fray, the 26-year-old has suggested that it was the reputed multi-million euros in sponsorship that d'Ambrosio is bringing with him that pushed him out of the door.
“It's a shame that F1 seats have been for sale,” Di Grassi lamented in an interview with São Paulo radio station Jovem Pan FM
. “The team said to me numerous times that if the decision was made on purely technical grounds, I would be staying – but money spoke louder.
“This year will be a difficult one of transition and restructuring my career, aimed at returning to F1 as soon as possible.”