Q & A with Toyotas Jarno Trulli 02 Jun 2005
After another spectacular qualifying performance at the Nurburgring, Jarno Trullis European Grand Prix was hampered by problems on the grid and a subsequent drive-through penalty. Having had time to reflect on his weekend, Trulli spoke to the team about the race, karting and the newfound joys of fatherhood
Q: Eighth place and another point, but was disappointment the overriding emotion?
JT: Yes, because we had the potential to achieve much more. If you look at the hard facts, I qualified really well, ahead of Alonso on the grid and he won the race. I'm not saying that I was going to win but it was not completely out of the question and without my problems a podium would certainly have been realistic.
Q: So you were very happy with your qualifying performance?
JT: Really happy. I didn't expect to be as high as fourth on the grid because although I'm not claiming that I was brim full of fuel, I was certainly not light and was very confident that we had the right race strategy.
Q: Did it rank alongside the best qualifying laps you have driven?
JT: I think so. The Williams cars (which qualified first and third) were the only things that surprised me a little. Nick Heidfeld took pole position but in the race we saw that he stopped three times, the first time after just 12 laps, and so he was obviously quite light in qualifying. Mark Webber, I gather, was not as light but he was involved in the first corner accident and so we never saw his race unfold.
Q: Radio reports put Saturday as the hottest May 29 in the Eifel mountains for 100 years. Did that give you tyre worries?
JT: Honestly no. I think that higher temperatures actually give us a little advantage and it was cooler on race day anyway. I know that after Monte Carlo there were quite a few people talking about tyres but Nurburgring is not as tough on rear tyres as Monaco and we certainly didn't have any concerns. I think Michelin did a good job and the race proved it.
Q: What happened to you on the formation lap?
JT: We had a problem starting the engine and although we finally got it fired up, the guys were still on the grid after the 15s signal, which is against the rules. That meant that I was given a drive-through penalty. I had made a good start and was in third place but coming into the pits for the penalty after just eight laps completely ruined my race. By the time I rejoined the circuit I was down in ninth place and stuck in traffic. We therefore took the decision to make my first fuel stop earlier than planned but I still found myself behind Tonio Liuzzi's Red Bull. I pushed as hard as I could all the way through but it's not easy to pass at Nurburgring and we only really scored the point through Kimi Raikkonen's bad luck on the last lap.
Q: Now that you have experienced a few different tracks, what do you think of the 2005 rules?
JT: You know, I'm a racing driver and I don't really care too much about what I'm driving, so long as it's decent of course! I'm happy with what I've got, the team has done an excellent job with the TF105 and, really, it's negative to start complaining about things. You just have to get on with the job. I did many years of karting and that teaches you a lot. You learn to adapt your driving style and accommodate different categories and different circumstances.
Q: Do you still do any karting?
JT: With 19 races and all the testing there is very little time left, sad to say.
Q: But you still sell Trulli karts?
JT: Yes of course. But I can't take too much of an active part in the business at the moment because Formula One gets more and more competitive and more and more time-consuming.
Q: How are you adapting to fatherhood?
JT: It's a bit early to say! It has only been a month and a half since Enzo was born and I've been away for much of that time. It's nice though, and it gives me a boost to bring a trophy back home for my son. Barcelona was my first podium as a daddy and I hope there will be a few more! I'm sure life will change a bit more dramatically as the baby starts to grow up and starts walking...
Q: So fatherhood hasn't made you re-assess your approach to risk-taking?
JT: Not at all.
Q: And you're still managing to sleep?
JT: Normally I go in the spare room. Especially before a Grand Prix weekend! Maybe that's cheating but I have to race and I have to be focused. You need to be mentally sharp and I don't want to take any extra risks through being tired.