When Caterham announced that Vitaly Petrov was to replace Jarno Trulli, it was suddenly apparent that Italy - a country that has played such a huge part in the sport's history - was without a Formula 1 driver for the first time in decades.
It's a scenario that has also recently played out in France. With no Gallic representation at the top level in 2010-11, the country's veteran radio journalists had to rely on multilingual drivers such as Trulli, Nico Rosberg, Sebastien Buemi and Jerome d'Ambrosio for their soundbites.
That's all changed for 2012 as rookies Jean-Eric Vergne and Charles Pic join the returning Romain Grosjean. Waiting on the sidelines is Jules Bianchi, who will be running some Fridays for Force India and remains a potential future Ferrari driver.
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.