Trulli on 2010: My door is open right now 19 Nov 2009
Jarno Trulli has hinted he has various options open to him for 2010 following Toyotas Formula One withdrawal. Trulli will attend the Japanese teams end-of-season event at Fuji Speedway this weekend after travelling from the US where he tested a Toyota NASCAR machine on Wednesday.
I haven't signed with anyone yet and I've talked to teams, the Italian told the Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) website after running almost 300 laps of Floridas New Smyrna Speedway in the teams Toyota Camry Cup car. My door is open right now."
2009 marked Trullis 13th year of F1 competition and saw him finish eighth in the standings after three podiums, one pole position and one fastest lap. Media speculation has linked him to a drive with the new Lotus squad, whose technical team is headed by former colleague Mike Gascoyne, but Trulli is not expected to confirm any decision until after his final Toyota commitment.
Trullis NASCAR test was conducted alongside another ex-Toyota F1 star, Mika Salo, and afterwards the 35-year-old admitted it had been an eye-opening experience.
"I didn't know about NASCAR until (ex-McLaren driver) Juan Pablo Montoya made his move," he said. "In the beginning, it was a big shock for me. It was the first time in my life I was leaving pit road in a closed cockpit.
I needed to get used to that feeling of not having my head out. I'm used to being in a stiff car on the ground. The Cup car moves around a lot. It requires skill, feeling and understanding. There are so many different factors and you need to be a smart person to be aware of what is happening around you."
MWRs Executive Vice President of Competition Steve Hallam, a former head of race operations at McLaren and an F1 veteran of 27 years, was impressed with the performances of Trulli and Salo.
"Both Jarno and Mika have done really well," he said. They have both delivered competitive lap times. They bring a different perspective to our ears. We are able to hear about the cars in a different way. It has been a really positive test and has brought good value to us."
Trulli will be return to more familiar machinery for the aforementioned Toyota Motor Sport Festival, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday (21-22 November).