Exclusive Jarno Trulli Q&A: 2009 a huge opportunity 09 Dec 2008
The season was respectable, so was the vintage. In fact Jarno Trulli can look back at a pretty successful 2008, both on the track and in his vineyards. And with next years rule changes set to shake things up, the Italian believes Toyota are well placed to go even better in 2009. The team missed the recent Barcelona test, but have a private session scheduled in Bahrain this week - the final mileage with the TF108 before its successor hits the track on January 20 at the new Algarve Motor Park in Portugal...
Q: Jarno, the 2008 season was the best for Toyota since 2005, but are you satisfied with how it went for you?
Jarno Trulli: It was a very satisfying season and full of emotion for me and the team, I'm happy about it.
Q: The TF108 seemed a very solid car but apparently lacked the aerodynamic edge that divides the front runners from the midfield. What was your verdict on this year's Toyota?
JT: The TF108 was a big step forward and gave me and Timo (Glock) a lot of chances to fight with the front runners, achieving podiums and many points. I'm happy with the progress made by the team and I'm confident we will build from there to close the gap with top teams in order to fight more consistently with them.
Q: With your last team mate, Ralf Schumacher, you complained that his driving style created a car that was hard for you to handle. No such problems with Timo, it seems. Have Toyota found the right driver line-up and now need to deliver the car to go with it?
JT: In general we found that our driving styles are different, but our demands from the car and our desire to see us on top are exactly the same. So I believe the team now has a good direction to develop together and become stronger.
Q: New regulations mean the 2009 season will be distinctly different in terms of the demands on the car. How do you see this from Toyotas perspective?
JT: The new rules might give Toyota a chance to close the gap with the top teams and I expect this after years of experience. The aim is to fight at the front at every event, and 2009 could be a good chance.
Q: The first pre-season test of the TF109 will be on January 20 at the Algarve Motor Park in Portugal. What is on your schedule until then?
JT: I will be preparing myself physically up in the mountains with our team doctor, Dr Ceccarelli, before the first test in order to be ready and fit for the whole season.
Q: Regarding the famous Trulli wine, how was the 2008 vintage?
JT: Our vintage went pretty well and despite the general economic difficulties in the world our work is still growing, so it's a good sign of a solid base of product quality.
Q: Finally, how did you react when you heard about Hondas withdrawal?
JT: It was a big surprise. We have been neighbours in the paddock for quite some time and I think it is sad if such a great team were to disappear. They brought a nuance to the paddock that would be missed. I wish them all the best in finding a new owner who will give them the chance to be on the grid in Melbourne. Do you hear this Santa Claus?