At Monaco, the less competitive pace of the new Lotus, Virgin and HRT teams has been the main topic of conversation, with frontrunners worried about being held up on the short and twisty layout.

Jarno Trulli has defended F1's three new teams.

At Monaco, the less competitive pace of the new Lotus, Virgin and HRT teams has been the main topic of conversation, with frontrunners worried about being held up on the short and twisty layout.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that HRT is struggling for survival, while David Coulthard insists that the sport needs "quality, not quantity".

"If teams are not competitive they will not stay on the grid for long anyway as sponsorship is driven by results on track," the Scottish veteran wrote in his Telegraph column.

But fellow veteran Trulli, who now drives a Lotus despite previously working with big teams including Renault and Toyota, insists that the new teams have a place on the grid.

"Without us, it would have seemed that F1 had just a handful of teams," he is quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.

"I would be more cautious in asserting that we are not worthy of our place in F1," the Italian added.

 

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