Exclusive - Trulli & Coulthard on 2006 07 Nov 2006
After ending 2005 with 43 points and seventh place in the standings, Jarno Trulli expected more from his second season with Toyota. While team mate Ralf Schumacher battled McLarens Pedro de la Rosa for tenth, Trulli was facing similarly stiff competition from Red Bulls David Coulthard for 12th. With both men retiring five times and scoring points on just five occasions, the pair were evenly matched, but in the end it was the Italians sixth place in Japan which relegated the Scot to 13th. Here, both exclusively review their seasons for Formula1.com
Jarno Trulli, Toyota
Championship position: 12th (15 points)
Best race result: 4th (x1) Best qualifying: 4th (x3)
We were hoping for more from 2006 but it has turned out to be a difficult season for us. It started badly in Bahrain but the best thing about the season was to see a big reaction from the team, which fought hard to make up the gap in performance. We recovered well in terms of pace, particularly since the TF106B was introduced in Monaco. In fact, the main problem this year has been reliability. We had issues all season and we missed out results, particularly potential podiums at Monaco and Magny-Cours. I suppose those moments count as both the highlights and the low points of my season.
As a driver it is always enjoyable to drive a car that you know is quick and competitive but to see good results slip away is always hard. This happens to even the best teams but it is something we need to address. Tyre choice has been crucial too as tyre performance has been getting more extreme. The working windows are small and a few degrees can make a big difference. In Turkey I made a poor tyre choice and paid for it with a difficult weekend. But our performance in Japan was encouraging and it was great to get both cars in the points at our home race.
We have worked well with Bridgestone and our experience with them should be useful for next season. We know we need to work hard over the winter. If we can make another step forward, which I believe that we can, then we will be in good shape next year.
David Coulthard, Red Bull
Championship position: 13th (14 points)
Best race result: 3rd (x1) Best qualifying: 7th (x1)
After a pretty impressive 2005 season for Red Bull when I picked up a lot of points, we were expecting that trend to continue for this year. We were wrong! The problem was simple: we had a cooling problem that dogged us from the first time we ran RB2. That was bad enough in itself, but of course we devoted so much time to fixing it, that development of the whole package had to take second place. We never really recovered from that situation throughout the year.
Highlight of the season obviously has to be Monaco. Finishing on the podium in what is something of a home race for me and the most prestigious event on the calendar was a great feeling and a reward for all the hard work from the team. But the car was not really competitive because of the pre-season problems and the decision was taken to halt technical development on the car from Germany onwards, to concentrate all our resources into RB3, the 2007 car. The right decision, but for a driver, a very frustrating one, especially as it meant that most weekends, I was fighting with the lads from Toro Rosso, a team that was supposed to be junior to us.
There were some other moments of light in the gloom, such as taking the last point away from Jenson (Button) in Canada and I had a good race in Hungary too. A couple of times, in Magny-Cours and Hockenheim, I made it through into the final third part of qualifying, which might not sound mega, but given the package we had, it was cause for personal satisfaction. So, come the end of the year, we finished seventh in the constructors' which is the same as last year, but underneath the surface there is real hope that we can perform better next year. Now I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the new RB3 and prior to that I will be looking forward to working with Bridgestone again, as the whole field will run on their tyres.
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