Q&A with Toyotas Jarno Trulli 25 Oct 2007
After a difficult season, Toyotas Jarno Trulli ended the year on a high with an eighth-place finish in Brazil - his first points-scoring result since Junes United States Grand Prix. Here Trulli reviews his final race, looks ahead to 2008 and reflects on bidding his team mate of three years, Ralf Schumacher, goodbye
Q: Eighth place in Brazil, was that a positive end to the season?
Jarno Trulli: Yes, it was a positive result for me. The team has worked very hard all season but it had been a long time since we finished in the top eight for various reasons. It was good to finish the season back in the points and it gives us extra motivation as we work towards next season.
Q: How did the weekend go as a whole?
JT: For me the weekend actually started with quite a difficult Friday. From the start of practice I was not comfortable with the car and we seemed to have a few problems. The balance was okay but we just couldnt seem to make the tyres work to their best. The wet track obviously did not help but we could see from Ralfs performance that the conditions were not the only problem.
Q: Were you able to solve the problem?
JT: We switched to the T-car for Saturday and I felt much more comfortable after that. I have to say the team worked really hard to switch the cars and it was worth the effort because the set-up improved a lot. The car felt pretty good and was able to push hard.
Q: Were you happy with your qualifying performance?
JT: The car looked quite strong in qualifying so I was happy with that and I was pleased to be in eighth. We had no problems getting through Q1 and even though Q2 is always tight I was happy with my lap, which got me through to Q3 without any trouble. I think my final flying lap was pretty good considering our strategy and eighth wasnt a bad result.
Q: You went with a three-stop strategy for the race - did that work out?
JT: The choice was to either go for two stops and run longer with the option tyre than ideally you would want to, or do an extra stop but use the option tyre less. I was not comfortable with using the super soft option tyre for a long period as we had encountered quite a lot of graining in practice so we decided to gamble on three stops. It was a risk because we spent more time in the pits than those on two stops so I had to keep up a good pace to stay in the fight for points. I think we made the right decision and we were rewarded with a decent result.
Q: What are your thoughts on Ralf Schumacher leaving the team?
JT: Ralf has been my team mate for three years at Toyota and I dont think I have ever had the same team mate for so long in my Formula One career. There is always competition between team mates at any team in Formula One and you always want to beat your team mate but I had a very fair battle with Ralf. We both had the same aim of helping the team make progress and we worked together to develop the car. I wish him all the best in the future.
Q: Now the season is over, are you already looking ahead to 2008?
JT: Development never stops in Formula One so when one season finishes the team is already thinking about the next one. I will have a short break with my family before winter testing starts but I know everyone at the factory is already working flat-out on the TF108. We have had a difficult season in 2007 but we know where we have to improve and the team is very motivated to succeed. Even through some hard times this year, the team has never given up and now we have the chance to improve performance and enjoy a better season in 2008.