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Q&A with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli 10 Oct 2007

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 7 October 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 7 October 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 7 October 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota during the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 7 October 2007

Things seem to have been going from bad to worse for Toyota’s Jarno Trulli of late. After enjoying several strong finishes earlier in the year, Trulli has failed to score a world championship point since June’s United States Grand Prix. In China last weekend he qualified down the order in 12th and eventually crossed the line in 13th.

Here, the Italian discusses his grip problems in Shanghai and reflects on what Toyota must do if they are to up their game for 2008…

Q: Jarno, after Fuji another unpredictable race at Shanghai, how did you see it?
Jarno Trulli:
Yes, it was very difficult, as was the whole weekend for me. You can be lucky or not in changing conditions and things didn’t go my way in the race. I had problems with the car in qualifying and I didn’t make it into Q3 as I would expect to do. The race started on the wet Bridgestone tyres and I got quite a decent start and was running 12th.

Q: What was your strategy in those conditions?
JT:
We went for a one-stop strategy and I stopped on lap 25 of the 56. A dry line was starting to go down and we could see from the lap times that those drivers changing onto dry tyres were starting to be competitive. So we went onto dry tyres and hoped that the circuit would continue to dry. Unfortunately, almost as soon as I put dry tyres on, it started to rain again. It is always a tough call in that situation, whether to go back in for wets, as some drivers did, or to continue on dries and hope the rain stops. That’s what I did but I lost quite a lot of time with dry tyres and a heavy fuel load on a slippery surface. All I could was to push as hard as I could and get the best result I could.

Q: You said you had a problem in qualifying. What was that?
JT:
On my first run I just did not have the same balance as in Friday practice, when the car was very competitive. Ralf (Schumacher) showed that by qualifying sixth but, for me, there was no chance. My lap times in Saturday morning practice and qualifying were not what we expected. There was nothing really wrong with the general set-up, it was exactly the same as Friday. The grip level was lower compared to Friday and I was finding I had to brake earlier. It was difficult to do the same lap times as Friday.

Q: And the situation was only affecting your car?
JT:
Yes, because Ralf was able to show the real performance of the car and qualify sixth. On Friday I was very happy and competitive and then, on Saturday morning, Ralf was quick and I was short of pace. It was a big disappointment.

Q: Approaching the final race of the season, how would you assess 2007?
JT:
Well, it hasn’t been a good season for us and obviously we are disappointed by our results. It’s been difficult and we haven’t met our expectations, but I hope we can put that behind us and move forward again.

Q: How about next year?
JT:
The challenge is how quickly we can develop the car. Obviously there is quite a lot that we have to gain compared to our competitors if we want to be at the front. And clearly the others will make steps forward as well, so we have work to do. I have given all of my feedback in our discussions about next year’s car, trying to give as much input as possible.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Brazilian Grand Prix?
JT:
It’s great to race in Brazil because the fans there are so passionate about motorsport. It’s also a challenging track so that should make for an interesting weekend for the team and the drivers. I am very motivated as always and I really hope we can finish the season on a positive note.