Trulli: more to come from Toyota in Turkey 29 Apr 2008
Although the Spanish Grand Prix saw Jarno Trulli finish in the points for the third race in succession, the Toyota driver left Barcelona disappointed. A communications mix-up led to an unnecessary third pit stop - turning a likely sixth place into a frustrating eighth.
But the Italian is not downhearted. He heads to the next round in Istanbul confident that he is driving well and that the Japanese team have a sound basis to build on in the increasingly competitive TF108
Q: Are you happy to be racing in Europe again?
Jarno Trulli: It doesn't make so much difference - it is just a shorter flight! But it's good to be closer to home and to have all our motorhome facilities at the track, which just makes things a bit easier. Also, the European fans are always so enthusiastic and passionate so it's fun to race in front of them.
Q: What happened in the race?
JT: It was quite a strong race for me and I was pushing hard all the way through. We were not quite quick enough to get ahead of Mark Webber but nevertheless we were heading for the top six again and more points. Unfortunately I had an unplanned visit to the pits due to a communication problem, when I was called in right at the last corner. I respected the call but it was a misunderstanding. These things happen in life and in Formula One; now we just look to the future.
Q: Still, another point and another strong race performance - is that encouraging?
JT: Yes, it is still looking quite good for us but the battle in the midfield is really tight and we saw some of the other teams take steps forward in Spain. We made progress and we have more to come in Turkey but there are several teams which are very close together. This shows that is it important to continually develop and improve the car; we need to keep giving 100 percent effort all the time.
Q: Eighth place in qualifying; how did the session go?
JT: We didn't have any problems in Q1 but in Q2 we knew it would be very competitive and I would need a good lap to make it through. It was a tough session overall due to the weather conditions but my lap in Q3 was pretty good and it was a decent result to be eighth, especially when you consider how close together the cars around us are.
Q: What was the issue with the weather?
JT: Temperature-wise it was fine but the wind caused us problems and disrupted the balance of the car. The battle is so close between ourselves, Williams, Red Bull and Renault that these variables can be really important.
Q: Are you happy with your own performances this season?
JT: I think I have driven well in the four races so far so I am very pleased with my performances. We have finished in the points in the last three races and already I have more points than I scored throughout 2007 so that shows how much of an improvement the whole team has made. It is tough when you are in our position because the fight is so close and you need all your experience and effort to get the best possible result. However, we've been a bit unlucky as well because we lost points in Australia due to the battery problem and now we had this issue in Barcelona.
Q: How are things progressing overall?
JT: It is promising and we are all pushing hard to get more performance because it is clear we have a strong car with a good baseline and this gives us a good opportunity this season. Little things could make a big difference to results this year. We need to continue to give everything and close the gap on the teams in front. I want to fight at the very front but we are not there yet.
Q: What is needed to improve?
JT: We know we have some areas where we must make improvements but I can't say exactly what - it's a secret! Obviously we are working to improve all areas but we have set ourselves targets in certain areas. Nowadays in Formula One it is not only important to have a strong car at the start of the season, it is equally important how the car is developed; this is the measure of a strong team. We have the will and the potential to make this happen.
Q: What are your expectations for the next race, in Turkey?
JT: We have scored points in the last three races and we would have scored in Australia but for the battery problem so I am pretty confident we can fight for the points again.