Trulli closing on new Toyota deal
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, July 19th 2009, 14:10 GMT|
Jarno Trulli is mulling over an offer to remain at Toyota for 2010, AUTOSPORT has learned, after declaring his firm intention to remain in Formula 1 next year.
The Italian has started 208 grands prix and there had been speculation that he could hang up his helmet at the end of the year so he could focus on family life and his successful wine business.
However, Trulli has told AUTOSPORT that he is fired up to extend his F1 career on the back of some encouraging performances this year for Toyota.
And, with sources claiming that Kimi Raikkonen has rejected an approach to join Toyota next year, the Japanese manufacturer has now made a firm offer to Trulli for him to remain on board.
"At the moment I am driving, and really enjoying it," Trulli told AUTOSPORT about his thoughts for the future. "As long as you drive quick there is no reason to be concerned.
"Obviously you don't know what is going to happen, as it is hard to see where F1 is heading to at the moment, but that will all be clear soon.
"I am happy about my performance and confidence. And for sure in my mind I don't have the feeling I want to stop because I feel I have a lot to do. I feel very strong and very competitive, so I just hope I can stay in F1 and I am confident, but it is difficult to talk at the moment because the teams are busy doing other things at the moment."
Rather than feeling weary after more than a decade in grand prix racing, Trulli believes his years of experience in F1 are actually proving a benefit.
"I am pretty happy with the season. I am doing very well, I am driving very well, and I am very consistent and very strong during qualifying and the race. At the moment it is good and I am happy with the car.
"We are competitive, so every weekend there is a chance of showing a good result, and I have the experience to get it right nearly every time. When you fight and you know you have a small chance of getting on the podium or top five, then with experience you can have confidence to fight a lot, which is helping me a lot."
And he concedes that having not achieved Toyota's maiden victory yet is leaving him with a feeling of unfinished business.
"This is still one of my targets which I am strongly chasing this year, and still believing in it," he said. "Even though there is a gap and we can all see it, giving the car I have I still hope I can make it - whether it is now, next weekend, or a special weekend. It is there and you have to be ready to catch it."