Jarno Trulli ranked his qualifying lap at the European Grand Prix one of the best he'd ever driven but the Toyota man was left disappointed after a race that resulted in just a single point to add to his tally. In the new single-session qualifying...
Jarno Trulli ranked his qualifying lap at the European Grand Prix one of the best he'd ever driven but the Toyota man was left disappointed after a race that resulted in just a single point to add to his tally. In the new single-session qualifying of Saturday afternoon Trulli put his Toyota fourth on the grid, a position he had not been anticipating.
Ahead of him was the Williams of Nick Heidfeld on pole, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen second and Heidfeld's teammate Mark Webber in third. "I didn't expect to be as high as fourth on the grid because although I'm not claiming that I was brim full of fuel, I was certainly not light and was very confident that we had the right race strategy," said Trulli.
"The Williams cars were the only things that surprised me a little. Nick Heidfeld took pole position but in the race we saw that he stopped three times, the first time after just 12 laps, and so he was obviously quite light in qualifying. Mark Webber, I gather, was not as light but he was involved in the first corner accident and so we never saw his race unfold."
As for the race, Trulli had a problem getting the engine started ready for the formation lap and the mechanics were still on the grid after the 15 second warning was given. He did manage to get going but was given a drive-through penalty for the mechanics' tardiness.
"I had made a good start and was in third place but coming into the pits for the penalty after just eight laps completely ruined my race," Trulli explained. "By the time I rejoined the circuit I was down in ninth place and stuck in traffic."
"We therefore took the decision to make my first fuel stop earlier than planned but I still found myself behind Tonio Liuzzi's Red Bull. I pushed as hard as I could all the way through but it's not easy to pass at Nurburgring and we only really scored the point through Kimi Raikkonen's bad luck on the last lap."
Obviously it was a disappointing result. "We had the potential to achieve much more," Trulli remarked. "If you look at the hard facts, I qualified really well, ahead of (Renault's Fernando) Alonso on the grid and he won the race. I'm not saying that I was going to win but it was not completely out of the question and without my problems a podium would certainly have been realistic."
After seven races of the 2005 season the teams and drivers have had time to get used to the new regulations, such the as changes to tyre, engine and chassis specifications. So what does Trulli think of the rules? "I'm a racing driver and I don't really care too much about what I'm driving, so long as it's decent of course!"
"I'm happy with what I've got, the team has done an excellent job with the TF105 and, really, it's negative to start complaining about things. You just have to get on with the job. I did many years of karting and that teaches you a lot. You learn to adapt your driving style and accommodate different categories and different circumstances."