Jarno Trulli discusses his decision to join the Lotus F1 team…
Q: What were the reasons behind your decision to join Lotus F1 Racing?
Jarno Trulli: “I am really pleased to be joining Lotus F1 Racing. It was quite a difficult situation at the start of November with my former team withdrawing from Formula 1, but I was convinced I would stay in Formula 1.
“I was in contact with Mike (Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer) about the possibility of joining the new Lotus team and it became quickly clear that it would be a very good opportunity for me.
“I have been in Formula 1 for many years but there is something extremely motivating about helping to build a team from the ground level up. There is a lot of ambition from Tony (Fernandes, Team Principal), Mike and in fact the whole of Malaysia as a nation, and that level of enthusiasm is infectious for a driver. I am really looking forward to the challenge.”
Q: You are one of the longest-serving drivers in Formula 1 – how important will your experience be for the team?
JT: “I have driven for quite a few teams in my career, both manufacturer and independent teams, so I have a wide range of experience. I hope that this experience will be a positive asset for Lotus as we begin this new challenge together.
“We should not underestimate the task in hand. Formula 1 in 2010 is an exciting prospect with brand new teams, established manufacturers fighting back and of course other young teams looking to repeat their 2009 success. Everyone will be fighting hard for results, but we still have all our foundations to set, so we have a lot to do.”
Q: Do you expect the team to be immediately competitive?
JT: “We have to set realistic targets for the first year. We are one of the new teams, so we have to prove ourselves and to gain respect in the paddock. We have to establish ourselves as the best of the new teams and see what gap we have between us and the rest.
“Only then will we really understand what gains we need to make during the season. The points system has changed to reward the top ten drivers, so I would like to see us making progress towards the top ten by Abu Dhabi.”
Q: What do you think of the team’s approach to Formula 1 based on your previous experiences?
JT: “Having spoken to Tony and to Mike, as well as being in Malaysia this week, I can see a very sensible attitude and professional approach to racing. Of course everyone supporting the team wants results but everybody knows that will take time.
“We certainly have the capabilities and the tools to do the job. I know Mike very well from our time at other teams and I have a lot of faith in his technical operation.”
Q: What do you think of having Heikki as a team-mate?
JT: “It’s great to have a younger driver like Heikki on board. He has been in Formula 1 for a few years now, so he has matured into a competitive and well-rounded race driver. His experiences at other teams will certainly help Lotus F1 Racing as a whole and I am looking forward to working alongside him. He is bringing a different character and driving style to the team which I think will benefit all of us during 2010.”
Source: Lotus F1 Racing