Jarno Trulli believes that the tweaks to the old specification power steering system that he has had to switch to for the Japanese Grand Prix weekend mean that it is an improvement on the last time he used it.
The Italian has switched from the system introduced for the Hungarian Grand Prix to the system that he used previously. He also used the old specification unit at Spa which, like Suzuka, produces to heavy a steering load for the new system.
The team has tweaked the unit, which has improved its consistency. This is despite Trulli not being completely happy after he ended the day 7.899 seconds off the pace after gearbox trouble in the morning and an alternator problem in the afternoon.
"It feels more consistent in terms of reaction," Trulli told AUTOSPORT. "But I am missing a little bit of feeling. it's the one I used at Spa updated, which isn't the optimum, but it's still better than the very old one.
"This morning, first of all we tested the two kinds of power steering [the Spa specification one and the pre-Hungary version]. Then, I had a gearbox problem and in the afternoon I had a power issue, so I couldn't complete much of the day. We tried to recover it, changing the battery, but it was in fact an alternator.
"I am at the bottom of the results because I didn't use new tyres and I couldn't really complete any of the programme that was put in place."
Team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was able to set a more representative pace, ending up 17th overall, 4.324 seconds off the pace.
Trulli believes that, with a trouble-free run tomorrow, it is possible to qualify well and perhaps take the fight to the midfield pack in the race.
"We will be closer tomorrow," he said. "How close to the guys in front, it's difficult to say.
"What I normally see is that we are closer in qualifying but in the race our pace is much better. If we can stay close in qualifying, we might be able to race part of the race with the guys in front, this is my target."
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