Jarno Trulli Q&A: We need to deliver as a team 22 Jan 2009
Toyota want to see results this season. And the man under most pressure to produce those results is Jarno Trulli, the Japanese teams veteran driver. If Trulli is to deliver, the TF109 needs to have what it takes to run consistently at the front of the grid. With so little mileage in the brand new car it is difficult to judge the quality of Toyotas 2009 challenger, but already the Italian has a gut feeling that it could be just the right tool to live up to everybodys expectations
Q: Jarno, Toyota finished fifth in the constructors championship last season, but are so far without a race win. What are your objectives for this year?
Jarno Trulli: Well, unfortunately we have not been able to get to the top spot of the podium, but we have consistently improved our performance last year and with the arrival of Timo (Glock) it went further up. For this year our objectives are very simple: fight for top positions, score as many points as possible - and look out for that first race win.
Q: Due to the poor weather conditions in testing over the past two days you gained very little experience with the TF109. From what you saw in those few laps at Portimao, what is your impression of the new car?
JT: Well, in a few laps you cannot get a final verdict on a new car, but the overall feeling is that we can look into this season pretty confident. When we get into normal testing conditions - meaning much warmer weather - we will understand much better were we stand. So I would say that after the Bahrain test at the beginning of next month I will be able to answer this question with more accuracy.
Q: You are a leading member of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, so what is your stance on KERS, regarding the safety of all people involved?
JT: We drivers know so little about KERS, and yes from the incidents we know from some of the teams we are a little bit concerned. But I am convinced that the FIA has an eye on that issue. In the last two days I was running the car with KERS and there hasnt been a problem at all, but then again two days cannot give you an in-depth understanding so we have to see what happens at the next tests.
Q: Toyotas team President John Howett just said that the team need a strong season or Toyotas future in F1 could be in doubt
JT: We need to deliver as a team. Everybody in Toyota is facing a difficult moment as we have come to an age where we have to show our true colours. For Timo and myself, we want to win and get as many good positions as possible. We all understand that we have to deliver results and we are all fully committed.
Q: You are one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. Does that help you adapt faster to the new regulations in light of the new in-season test ban?
JT: Experience always helps. But fact is that we have to focus entirely on the remaining winter tests and what is more important is we have to get it right before Melbourne because there will be no chance to turn things around dramatically during the season.
Q: All these new devices - KERS, adjustable front wing flaps etc - are in place to enhance overtaking. Will they deliver?
JT: The front wing flap will help, but KERS is a completely new world - if we introduce it. There is so little time left to really integrate it and get enough experience to fully understand how to use it. We have to make sure that it is safe and reliable, and then we have to figure out if it holds an advantage. KERS is a bit question mark.
Q: Do you think the rule changes will make the races more exciting for the fans?
JT: The target is to have a better race for all of us - and I am sure we can achieve that target. I cautiously predict that we will see more action on the track.
Q: There have been talks about a new qualifying format. Do you think that qualifying could be made more interesting by a new format?
JT: This is not for us drivers to decide. We will just have to adapt to whatever changes will be seen fit to enhance that part of the race weekend.