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.