Trulli poised for GP return

Jarno Trulli is set to make his Formula 1 return with Toyota in the Japanese Grand Prix after a successful test with the Cologne-based team at Jerez in Spain this week

Trulli poised for GP return

Despite two big incidents, caused by a puncture and a rear-suspension related problem, Trulli hailed his first major outing for his new team as encouraging and declared himself ready to return to racing if the team wanted him to do so.

Sources close to the team have suggested that it wants Trulli in the car as early as possible, even though the Italian is understood to still be having minor difficulties getting comfortable in the cockpit.

Speaking to autosport.com, Trulli said: "I am ready to race, because I have been racing up until Monza. I would not like to replace any of the current drivers as I think they are doing their job, but I will keep saying that anything can happen and, if the team asks me to do it, then I will do it. I have no problem with that."

Trulli put in some encouraging times during the Jerez test and, although suffering slightly from the positioning of the seat belts in the TF104B cockpit, he believes he can complete a race distance without any trouble.

"Today was very positive because I was very competitive in the morning and I did a lot of laps," said Trulli at the end of testing on Thursday. "I tried lots of tyres, a few set-ups and also tried out some new bits. I was a lot happier and it was a very good day.

"Obviously it takes some time to get comfortable in the cockpit but I can do 100 laps without too much difficultly, so I think it is alright."

Trulli remains coy about whether he will race in Japan, but crucially he has not ruled out the possibility.

"As far as I know I will only be testing, but anything can happen," he said. "When I was asked a few weeks ago about whether Renault would replace me I said 'no', because I am doing my best. But then everything changed one day, so anything can happen."

Although it is not clear which current race driver Trulli would replace in the event of him being drafted into the team, it is likely that it will be Olivier Panis, who is retiring at the end of this season anyway. The team is understood to want to keep Brazilian Ricardo Zonta on board so as to maximise publicity in his home race at Interlagos next month.

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