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Q&A with Lotus's Jarno Trulli 28 Feb 2010

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Jerez, Spain, Saturday 20 February 2010. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 27 February 2010. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus T127. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 26 February 2010. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus T127 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 26 February 2010. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus T27 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 26 February 2010.

After minor hydraulic issues interrupted his running on Friday, Lotus’s Jarno Trulli enjoyed a much more successful day at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, covering a total of 102 laps. Although it was a productive end to Trulli’s pre-season testing, his best time in the T127 was over four seconds adrift of the pace set by quickest runner Nico Rosberg for Mercedes GP. The Italian reviews his progress and looks ahead to the Bahrain Grand Prix…

Q: How was your last day in the Lotus before the season begins?
Jarno Trulli:
It was another positive day. We have done a lot of long runs, covering a race distance, plus some additional running. We had some wet conditions, which altered our programme. We had planned to try out different set-ups and different tyres. But nevertheless we had two very positive days.

Q: Do you feel confident about the first race?
I am always confident. Of course it would have been much better to have a couple more weeks for the whole team to prepare. We will be there - we will race and be professional. The fact is the car is not quite there yet. We are still waiting for some new parts, which will make it much quicker. This might take until after the first couple of races. The reliability is there though. We made a compromise during the design process to first have stable reliability and then develop the pace. If you do not have a reliable car, you might end up not running, and therefore not developing at all. For us it is important to finish races and get a lot of mileage to understand the car.

Q: Do you think it will be possible to score some points this year?
It would be nice to score a point, but it is not going to be easy. We have to be realistic. We are probably four seconds off. We already know what is wrong, but we don’t have enough time to sort it out right away. We knew in advance where the weaknesses were, but we have to get ready for Bahrain and ship everything over, so there is no time left. Once we return to Europe, we will probably make a step forward.

Q: You covered many laps, is that something positive to take away from this test?
Even though we had some technical and mechanical difficulties, I am very happy with the two days. We are here to discover the car’s problems and to get mileage.

Q: Are you happy with the T127’s performance?
There is still a lot of work to do. We are not happy with the pace that we have at the moment, but we knew we wouldn’t be. We are ready for racing, but not really for fighting. Maybe we can fight with Virgin, but the rest of the field is still out of reach.

Q: Will you take this package to the Bahrain race?
Yes. As we are short of time, we cannot really ask for more from the team. It was a great effort to put the car together in such a short time so it was ready for Barcelona and then Bahrain. With regards to the Cosworth engines I feel quite optimistic. They are not bad.

Q: Are you feeling under pressure?
There is pressure on everyone in the team. I think in the first year they will let us do what is possible, but next year the expectations will be a lot higher. This year we have to run the team and the car as if in preparation for next year, when we will have to deliver much better results.

Q: Do you think it was right the team made the move into Formula One racing?
The fact we were able to design a car and put it on the track in five months is quite amazing. But to be able to do that, it was necessary to make a lot of compromises on performance and in many other areas. At least we are on the track.

Q: What can we expect from Lotus during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix?
The same as here basically, not much more. Unfortunately I am not a magician.