Q+A Jarno Trulli

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Jarno Trulli, who's starting a new three-year contract with Toyota, is, just like everybody else at the team, very optimistic about the new TF107 and the 2007 Formula One season. Toyota is celebrating it's 50th anniversary in motorsport this year and Trulli couldn't think of a more appropriate gift than a victory for the team this season. Here follows the interview with Jarno Trulli.

What’s your general feeling about 2007 and the new car?

“From my experience you always have to be very positive about the next year, because anything can happen. We know that the 2006 season wasn’t as good as we expected, but we think we have the potential to produce a good car, and we know that we can do at least as well as we did in 2005. All we have to do is work hard at what we are doing, and hope the engineers have got it right on the car! I’ve heard that they’ve made a good step in the wind tunnel. But it’s too early to make any prediction.”

How important will it be to have a reliable car?

“Sure, that was one of the weakest points last year. We lost several good opportunities because of reliability, so it was really a shame. It was a disappointing season for all of us, drivers and team, because we expected to have a better car, but it was only competitive sometimes. It was actually a very difficult season. However, I think we got a lot of good experience which will help us for the future.”

You qualified well in the last two races. How much progress did Toyota make towards the end of the season?

“It’s true that the car made really good progress by the end of the season, but you always struggle to understand if it was due to the car or if it was due to the tyres. This year we will have a better idea.”

You are starting a new three-year contract. What does that say about your belief in the potential of the team?

“When you start working with a team, and straight away you have good results like I did in 2005, you are very optimistic for the future, especially when you look at the resources of the team, the capability and the potential. Last season didn’t show the true potential of the team, so from my point of view I needed a long-term contract in order to have the continuity inside the team. I strongly believe that I can win races with Toyota. It’s not something that’s going to happen easily but I believe Toyota has the potential to do great things and eventually win the championship.”

Does a three-year deal also demonstrate that the team has faith in you?

“It shows that the team trusts the driver, and they believe in my potential, especially after all the good results in 2005 when the car was good and reliable. As I say, one season doesn’t tell you everything. We have continuity in the driver line-up, on the engineer’s side, and what we have to do now is build up a team to make our car quicker.”

You have one year of experience with Bridgestone, but the actual tyres have changed. How do you feel about the tyre situation?

“I expected to have a bit of an advantage over the other teams, but the tyres we used in winter testing are new and the tyres we used last season have nothing to do with them. But for sure the experience we gained last year will be helpful. We have a good relationship with Bridgestone, and they know us, they know our car, and they can give us a direction to help us work better with these tyres.”

Do you think that having one tyre supplier will make the racing closer?

“No, I don’t think so. I think the team who makes the better car and can exploit the tyres will have a big advantage, even if the new tyres are easy to handle and easy to understand. They can clearly show you the problems of the car, and in this case a small problem can become a big problem for performance. We can probably see some close races, and some others where the gap will be bigger.’

Toyota is celebrating its 50th anniversary in motorsport this year. Do you feel part of that history?

“I think I’m part of the history, because I actually gained the first pole position and the first podium for Toyota. My target is to get the first victory, and if I can, the first championship! I really feel part of the company and family. It’s an important target this year, and I hope we can mark this target with some good showings and good performances.”

Source Toyota Pictures of the new TF107:
http://www.f1technical.net/gallery/v/To ... 07/Launch/