Q and A with Jarno Trulli

Jarno Trulli is enduring a trying European Grand Prix weekend as problems with his car rendered him 18th on the grid. News has also emerged that Trulli's position within the team is uncertain for 2010

Q and A with Jarno Trulli

The Italian sat down with the press in Valencia to explain his position on the matter, his hopes for tomorrow's race, and why he has sympathy for the difficult position Luca Badoer finds himself in this weekend.

Q. What happened in qualifying?

Jarno Trulli: It was a disastrous qualifying. It was a mystery at the beginning but now there a few things... we understood some issues on the car. We are probably going to change everything and start from the pitlane. Because we cannot race like I did the qualifying today.

We had a problem on the grip side, which maybe we can find an explanation, and also on speed-wise I was really down, something like three tenths per lap so we really need to change bits on the car.

Q. Is it similar to the Monaco thing where you couldn't turn the tyres on?

JT: I don't think so. We didn't have any problem for me until qualifying so I don't think we can relate it to the tyres. It is something else.

Q. Do you have a tyre issue this year?

JT: We have an issue with the tyres some of the time. Sometimes we can't switch them on, sometimes in qualifying, other times in the race, without understanding why. This has been a mystery for everyone. Sometimes it happens in both cars, sometimes it happens in one only. Honestly we have a big question mark on that and no-one can give you an answer.

Q. Did you change anything on the car between practice and qualifying?

JT: We changed a little which didn't explain the whole problem. As I say we had two problems, which we have figured out afterwards. One is speed related, I am missing 0.35s per lap on the straights, and this is a big problem because we don't know where this is coming from. And the other one is grip. It felt bad straight away and it hasn't felt this bad all weekend. So we need to change things on the car. We will start from the pitlane and we need to get better, at least handling-wise and grip-wise, to where we were before qualifying.

With the speed we are still investigating.

Q. Might you have to change the engine to solve the speed problem?

JT: I don't think so. I don't know, they are looking at it because it is very strange what happened.

Q. Where are you up to on contract talks for next season?

JT: At the moment everything is still unclear, on everything and everyone. Obviously we are talking but nothing is really sure or clear, so I think we need to wait a little bit more.

Q. Are you talking to one, two or three teams?

JT: Well at the moment I am waiting to talk with some teams. With others we are in talks. I think the priority is to understand what Toyota and us want to do and then we will see.

Q. Comments from John Howett suggest you and the team are quite far apart in terms, is that true?

JT: Money has never been an issue. I understand the position of the team, on many things. At the moment there is a lot of cost cutting. I do believe the driver has to play his role in this and I am more than happy to... for me this is not only a team but a family. So I understand that we need to save the team and save the people who work in it.

So a cut in the budget and, let's say a cut in my budget, this is not a problem. I need to understand what the team wants.

Q. There are now lots of drivers on the market, does that make your position more complicated?

JT: It depends what the Toyota team wants to do. It is not really in my hands. All I can do is my best, which is what I have always done. The rest I think we can always talk with the team and understand what they want, because eventually maybe they are not happy about me, I have no idea. I don't know. We didn't talk about money.

Q. Seems like everyone is waiting on Fernando Alonso?

JT: I don't think Fernando is the key. I think that the teams in general are looking at the economics problem. They are all waiting to understand what they can do for next year, what their budgets are, whether they will make a move. At the moment it is hard.

Q. Are you confident you will get something in Formula 1?

JT: I hope so, but am I confident in this economic crisis? Nothing is sure. If you look back over the last year it is a disaster. Honda has pulled out, BMW has pulled out, and probably they will not be the only ones.

Q. If you didn't have a seat would you continue in other categories or would you concentrate on your vineyards?

JT: I think it is too early to say. I really am a driver and still feel I am very quick and I want to keep racing. Definitely I want to drive but it depends on how and where. I have always been racing for the top. I never drove for a top team, but I have always put myself in the top five so I think that is my target. I want to see what I can achieve.

Q. Despite signing the Concord Agreement is there still a risk a team might drop out?

JT: I think you can expect anything. Nothing is sure at the moment, because there are plenty of things which have happened, and from one day to another the situation changes. And you need to wait because no one knows what they can do for next year yet. Everyone has probably signed, I'm not really into it, but I personally think anything can happen.

Q. From a GPDA point of view are you worried about the safety aspect of KERS. That you have cars that are slower that can jump up the grid at the start?

JT: It is not a safety issue. It is part of the business and part of the regulations. You accept it.

Q. Are the GPDA involved in any FIA investigations into Felipe's accident?

JT: No we have had a pretty good meeting with FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting, which has explained to us a little bit more about the helmet. The increased stiffness and safety of the helmets in the last few years. The only weakness is probably the visors which eventually they are going to work on. The problem is that what happened in Felipe's accident is very rare and there is nothing really you can do on the helmet side. Because really today's helmets have reached the top of safety.

You can always do better but to absorb that kind of impact you don't need a helmet like that. You need something for different proportions I would say.

Q. Do you have any comments on Luca Badoer's performance?

JT: I did expect him to struggle. It's difficult for everyone to step into a car after such a long time out of the business. I think he is trying his best but he will need a bit more time definitely. More testing. I think it's hard. There is little we can judge about it in the end because it is obviously a very difficult situation.

Q. Has he got that more time though do you think?

JT: I think he has to enjoy what he is doing at the moment. We are in the business and we all know how hard it is. People from the outside would probably expect more but it is impossible honestly. Luca was a good driver as well when he was driving, but being out of the business since 10 or 15 years is not ideal for you to jump in the car on a race weekend, which is very different from testing, without testing and without experience. I don't think he is having a lot of fun, but he needs to still do his job and do his best.

I think he has to enjoy what he is doing and try to do his best step-by-step because miracles do not happen like this. If miracles happen then we should save them for much more important things.

Q. Are you surprised that Luca is slower than Alguersuari and Grosjean?

JT: It's difficult to explain how difficult it is to drive a Formula 1 car if you don't drive it every week and every month.

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