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The Trulli formula for festive fun 14 Dec 2004

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF104B. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 25 November 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton

The Italian on how he'll be busy - doing nothing!

Ever wondered how a Formula One driver spends Christmas? Toyota’s Jarno Trulli spoke to the team about his plans for the upcoming holiday period and how a competitive TF105 race car for the 2005 season would be top of his wish list for presents.

Q: You don't get a lot of time free during the season. How much in total do you get over the winter?
After a long season of racing and winter testing, I am basically free from Christmas time until the first test in January or the launch of the new car. I suppose it ends up being around a two weeks of time off in total.

Q: Do you get asked to go to lots of end of year awards ceremonies in the run-up to Christmas?
As my time is limited, I don't tend to have much time to go to awards ceremonies. I honestly prefer to stay at home with my family.

Q: So what are your plans this year?
This year, I will go back to my family home in Pescara in Italy around 23 December. I plan to stay there for about four or five days. Then for New Year's Eve I will go skiing in Switzerland with my wife and some friends.

Q: Are there any other things you particularly do around Christmas time?
The one thing I like to do around Christmas is nothing! For Formula One drivers it is our main chance of the year to really stay at home and relax.... I just try to get together with friends and family and have fun. The most strenuous thing we do is play cards.

Q: Are you a different person at home from how you are at the track?
When I'm at the track, I'm completely concentrated on what I'm doing. I only want to know what is happening around me, and nothing else. But when I go back home I can just turn everything off.

Q: What do you do on Christmas Day itself?
On Christmas Day, I laze around at home with my family, and that's about it. We have more or less had the same kind of Christmas as far back as I can remember.

Q: What kind of food is there?
In Italy we have a big feast on Christmas Eve - with lots of different food. Then we generally go to church for the midnight service. On Christmas Day it's a different menu, with chicken soup, stuffed turkey and things like that.

Q: How about alcohol?
No, I'm not really into alcohol. I have a few glasses of wine, but never too much...

Q: Grand prix drivers have to look after their diet too, but do you at least allow yourself to enjoy all the Christmas food?
Yes, I let myself do that once a year. The problem is that it's a lot of food in one go. To eat so much is not something I usually do during the year, but I allow myself a special treat at Christmas.

Q: After all that eating, what kind of training do you do to get back in shape?
As I'll be in Switzerland afterwards, my training will be mainly be a lot of cross country skiing. I really enjoy training in the mountains. I do some running as well, but mainly cross country skiing and work in the gym. That's all in preparation for the 2005 season.

Q: Your wife Barbara has a baby due next April, so surely this could be your last quiet Christmas?
That's right, we're expecting a boy towards the end of April - around the time of the San Marino Grand Prix. I'm extremely happy about the news and it's a good boost for me, so I won't really mind about the noise! Hopefully next Christmas will be louder but even happier...

Q: Will you still go back to your family when you have a family of your own?
I think I will always go back to Pescara for Christmas. I will always go back to Italy and stay with my mum and dad.

Q: What kind of present do people buy for an F1 driver who has everything?
I don't like getting presents so it's hard for most of my family to find me a present. I have no idea what I want, but sometimes if I need something specific I'll ask for it.

Q: So what kind of present would you really like?
I guess the Christmas present I would really like would be a fast car for 2005...