Di Grassi says Virgin seat lost due to sponsorship
"I had a contract with Virgin but I needed a new sponsorship"
Luca di Grassi insists the loss of his Virgin race seat was a simple case of not being able to afford it.
The 26-year-old Brazilian made his debut with the new British team last year, but for 2011 has been replaced by the Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio.
"I had a contract with Virgin but I needed a new sponsorship," he told the Arena SporTV programme.
"I could not get one, and the Belgian did. Now I’m in a phase of restructuring to get back in (F1) next season," added di Grassi.
Globo Esporte reports that one possible appointment this year for the Brazilian, whose reputation is as a good test driver, is in the area of tyre development with Pirelli.
When asked about the 2011 world championship in general, di Grassi said: "I have spoken with friends who are still there.
"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.
"McLaren are either hiding something or will not be so good for the start of the season," he added.