Q & A with Jarno Trulli

Conducted and provided by Toyota's press office

Q & A with Jarno Trulli

Q. How does it feel to score three podiums in five races?

JT: To have scored our third podium in just five races is a fantastic effort from everyone at Panasonic Toyota Racing and it is better than I expected. Barcelona was a great result for me and, I have to say, one of the best races of my career because the car was not perfect. I had to work very hard to keep ahead of Ralf. I had a different strategy and I was quicker with heavy fuel while Ralf was quicker on light fuel. That was down to the car set-up.

Q. So you were pretty much flat-out from beginning to end in Barcelona?

JT: It was a tough race and I had to push really, really hard even on the 'in' and 'out' laps around the pit stops. At my first pit stop there was a problem with my refuelling when a small amount of fuel caught fire but in the end everything worked fine and it felt great to be on the podium again with Ralf also racing strongly.

Q. How is your relationship with your teammate Ralf Schumacher?

JT: At the moment we are having a good championship and have a very good relationship. Things have worked out slightly better for me but if you look into it deeply, it's not so obvious. Everything has gone well for me but Ralf has had some misfortune, especially at Imola. But he has still got 14 points, which is pretty good. Ralf is doing a very good job. It is a long season and too early to say which one of us will come out on top. But anyway, it's not really about what Ralf and Jarno can do; it's about what Toyota can do.

Q. And what do you think Toyota can do over the season?

JT: We have made a great start but it's difficult to make too many predictions. Everyone is still settling in and the teams are getting to grips with the rule changes. The only really consistent performance we have seen is from Fernando Alonso and Renault. All the others are still improving and so only at mid season will I be able to say if I'm thinking about the championship. At the moment I'm only thinking about as many points as possible at each race.

Q. How satisfying was it to give the team provisional pole position in Spain?

JT: I was delighted about the result on Saturday, obviously, but not about the way it came. To be honest it was a bit unexpected. On Saturday morning I struggled a bit with grip. I couldn't put it down to balance, set-up, or anything specific, it's just that the car didn't feel quite there. By contrast I was very confident after Friday when my longer runs had been strong. We hadn't actually made any changes except for putting on another set of tyres. And so the provisional pole was a surprise because I wasn't fully confident and I wasn't right on the limit like I normally am.

Q. Was it a mistake-free lap?

JT: It was a mistake-free lap and I think that was the secret to the result. Aerodynamics are very important at Barcelona and a slight change in the wind direction can catch you out. It makes it quite difficult for the driver and that's why we saw so many mistakes. Both Fernando and Kimi (Raikkonen) made mistakes and it was managing to do a lap without a problem anywhere that won me the provisional pole.

Q. How disappointing was it to drop to fifth on Sunday morning?

JT: It was pretty much what I expected and I'm not being negative about my overall grid position. When you look at it logically, I predicted that Kimi and Fernando would be quick on race day. Then Mark Webber qualified the Williams on the front row but he had a light, three-stop fuel load and only converted to two stops later in the race. After him, the only other person to qualify ahead of me was Ralf, who was very close in first qualifying and then had slightly less fuel than me in the second session. I wasn't really going for pole position, I was concentrating on the race and a good strategy.

Q. Did you have new parts on the car in Spain?

JT: We had some new aerodynamic parts in Barcelona that had given some significant gains in the wind tunnel. The team did a great job to manufacture them and then get them to Spain on Thursday, where we had arranged to have the cars scrutineered as late as possible.

Q. How confident were you about racing new parts that were untested?

JT: I think the team has done an incredibly good job over the last year and it is now paying off. Last year the wind tunnel was not working as well as it could but the team has developed it and made sure that all the numbers we see in the tunnel now translate when we put the car on the track. Now, we are pretty confident that when we see an improvement in the tunnel we can just put the parts on the car and they will work. And that's what happened at Barcelona.

Q. How much extra performance did you get?

JT: I'd say the overall performance gain was something in the region of a quarter of a second to three tenths.

Q. Monte Carlo is the next race on the calendar. After your debut victory last season, it is realistic to think you can win there again?

JT: It would be fantastic to think I could win in Monaco again, but it would be wrong to expect it just because I scored my first win there last year! It is a great event and a fantastic atmosphere. The driver can arguably have a bigger input at Monaco relative to the whole package, but the car still has to be exactly right. There are a lot of things that can jump out and bite you in Monaco too. Our good finishes in Barcelona mean that we will both run towards the end of the first qualifying session and that's important in Monte Carlo because the track gets significantly quicker the more tyre rubber that goes down. And qualifying in Monaco is critical for the race because of the notorious difficulty in overtaking. I'll be giving it 110%, you can be sure!

shares
comments
Schumacher Upbeat for Monaco
Previous article

Schumacher Upbeat for Monaco

Next article

Monaco Preview Quotes: Toyota

Monaco Preview Quotes: Toyota
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023