Trulli's Australian nightmare not over yet
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, April 3rd 2006, 05:47 GMT|
Jarno Trulli's nightmare weekend in Australia got worse on Sunday night when he was told he could not fly home because of an ear infection he had picked up.
The Italian had felt off colour all weekend with a bad cold, and good luck seemed to desert him at all times. In qualifying he hit a bird, which damaged his rear wing, before suffering a gearbox problem that prevented him from putting in any laps during the final knockout phase.
His race then ended on the first lap when he tangled with David Coulthard and spun to a halt - before being forced to see teammate Ralf Schumacher take Toyota's first podium finish of the season.
Any plans he had to put the Melbourne weekend behind him and return home to Italy were dashed, however, when doctors told him that he could not get on a plane until his ear problem cleared up. He may have to stay in Australia for several days.
Toyota technical director Mike Gascoyne jumped to Trulli's defence for the opening lap accident.
"It looked to me as if Coulthard turned in on him," he explained. "Jarno was clearly alongside him, because you cannot hit him if he is not there, so that was unfortunate because I think we had two strong cars."
Coulthard had little sympathy for Trulli after the race, though, as he was particularly upset with the move on the first lap that affected both their races.
"I passed him through Turn 2, and in Turn 3 I looked in the mirror and saw him coming," explained Coulthard. "Then I moved over and let him fly down the inside, so he ran wide and I passed him again.
"Then going into Turn 6 he did the same thing again but this time I didn't see him coming and he sideswiped my car. That put me in the gravel and put himself out.
"I saw him a couple of times in the hotel elevator this weekend and he said he wasn't feeling very well, so whatever he had was affecting his judgement. There was no way he was going to make the corner."