Trulli: more to come from Toyota in Hungary 23 Jul 2008
The German Grand Prix was a frustrating affair for Toyotas Jarno Trulli. After storming to fourth on the Hockenheim grid, Trulli started the race ahead of Renaults Fernando Alonso and Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen. But he eventually only managed to cross the finish line in ninth. The Italian, however, is not disheartened. And despite his exasperating time in Germany, he is feeling confident ahead of the next round in Hungary and is eager to show off the increasingly competitive TF108
Q: Starting with the positive side of the weekend, your fantastic result in qualifying. Were you happy with that?
Jarno Trulli: I had a good day and it was a very good lap. The satisfying thing was that we managed to improve the set-up of the car all through qualifying; it just kept getting better and better! I was happy because I did my job and also because the team is putting in a lot of effort to improve the car and bring new parts, which helps me to perform. I was really optimistic of a strong result after qualifying, especially because I had scored 11 points in the previous three races.
Q: Were you surprised to out-qualify a Ferrari?
JT: You never know what fuel loads everyone else is running in qualifying but I knew it would be a really hard task to stay ahead of Kimi (Raikkonen) in the race. I consider Red Bull and Renault as our main rivals and it's harder to think about battling with McLaren or Ferrari. Formula One is just so competitive throughout the grid.
Q: You were running strongly in the first half of the race. Can you talk us through that?
JT: I made a good start and it was quite exciting on the first lap, with some close racing. Robert Kubica got past as I was fighting with Fernando Alonso at the hairpin. Even though I dropped to fifth, things were looking good because I could keep Kimi behind and the car felt well balanced. Everything went to plan at the first pit stop and I came out where we expected, which was unfortunately behind Kimi as he was fuelled longer than us. But that was okay because a good result was possible to strengthen our hold on fourth in the constructors' championship.
Q: Did you change strategy because of the safety car?
JT: Yes. We had planned to stop later but when the safety car came out for Timo's (Glock) accident it was clear the best option was to make an earlier stop than planned. That worked out well initially and we were in a position to fight for points in the final stint.
Q: Ultimately you just missed out on points, what happened?
JT: It was quite frustrating but sometimes that happens in racing. We had possibly our strongest qualifying of the year so we were expecting to fight for the top six, but it didn't turn out that way in the end. In the last stint, when I was on the prime tyres, I had serious problems with balance which made it really difficult for me. I pushed as hard as possible but it wasn't easy and I had Sebastian Vettel just behind me. It was really hard to keep him behind and I locked the brakes a bit at the hairpin, which was enough for him to get by. After that it got harder and I finished ninth.
Q: What is your immediate priority for the next races?
JT: We are working hard to consolidate fourth place in the constructors' championship and are just one point ahead of Red Bull and two ahead of Renault. We have a test at Jerez before the Hungarian Grand Prix and we will be concentrating on making the TF108 work in its latest high downforce configuration. Everyone in the factory is working really hard to bring new parts to the car as fast as possible and that is why we have been competitive throughout the season. We still have to push really hard to retain fourth place because the fight is very close, but we are determined to do that.
Q: Do you expect to be competitive again in Hungary?
JT: I think we should be competitive for the rest of the season; there is no reason why not. We made a lot of improvements already this year and there is more to come. We will be working hard at the test this week and we should be able to fight for points again.