Toyota's Jarno Trulli talks about testing and his expectations for the team
Q: What have you been doing since the end-of-season Brazilian Grand Prix?
Jarno Trulli: Since the final race of the season in Brazil, I've had some time off -- which is always welcome after a hard year. I spent a few days in Pescara, then some time in Switzerland relaxing with my wife, family and friends, then a week in England. We now have three weeks of testing before the Christmas break, when I'll probably go back to Switzerland to see more friends, do some skiing and prepare for the new season.
Q: What have you been testing so far this winter?
JT: We don't have a hybrid car for the winter testing, but we have been working on small parts for the 2005 car in areas like the electronics. Apart from that I've been working on tests of the tyre casings in preparation for the longer runs they'll have to do next year.
Q: You've still been running in this year's TF104B. What is it like to drive?
JT: The TF104B is exceptionally easy to find out how to drive. It gives an honest response it still has the potential to be made quicker. When I got here I found a better car and team than I had anticipated. We just need to improve on the consistency and learn to get more out of the tyres.
Q: Toyota's new TF105 is due on the track quite early. How does that affect preparations for 2005?
JT: We think we'll be on the track with the TF105 early in January, and I fully support the idea of getting the new car out as soon as possible. With so many major rule changes it's important to get the car running early so we can concentrate on it and iron out problems before the first race.
Q: How hard is it to have come to a team knowing that it has a long way to go to reach the front of the grid?
JT: When I came to Toyota I wanted a challenge. This is a big challenge, but I know that there is potential to win with this team. That's why I'm here. Personally I was very satisfied with the job I did at my last team. When I arrived they were sixth in the constructors' championship and we were in second place when I left the team. It would be nice to do the same with this team. I won't say it's easy to step in a winning car and win races, but it's much more challenging and satisfying if you can join a team and help take it to the top.
Q: Do you think Toyota has what it takes to make it towards the front?
JT: Of course, to make the biggest step to the front of the field, the team needs good management -- but that's exactly what I believe Toyota has. Toyota has the mentality to make it there -- even if it takes time. It has the potential, so it's just a matter of having the right people and experience. So far I think Mike Gascoyne has done a good job to organise a new, young team. Now they also have experienced people in the team and experienced drivers who can give a lot of input to the team. Hopefully soon we will see some good results.
Q: In your short time at the team can you sense that things are moving in the right direction?
JT: In the short time that I have been a Toyota driver, I already have the impression that we are moving in the right direction, although we will not be able to confirm that until we get the new car. That means there is a lot of expectation for next year, although we're being careful not to raise those expectations too high.
Q: Do you have particular targets for next season?
JT: I would like to aim to try and score points at as many races as possible next season. Coming from the position we are in at the moment, it would be nice to take a step closer to the top teams. But I'm keeping my feet on the ground because I know from experience that progress takes time. With more experience, we will be able to set much higher expectations.