Racing Life before F1: Jarno Trulli

On this day in 2000, Jarno Trulli started his 50th Formula 1 race at the European Grand Prix, which gives us the perfect excuse to reflect on the Italian’s career.

Racing Life before F1: Jarno Trulli
Listen to this article

Last month we looked at what he did after he stopped racing in F1, while this time we will take a deeper look at the path he took to get there.

1983 – 1994 Karting, Italian F3 & British F3

Jarno Trulli, Dallara Opel

Jarno Trulli, Dallara Opel

Photo by: Sutton Images

Like many Formula 1 drivers, Trulli was impressive in his karting years. He collected more than a dozen trophies in important championships and on tracks all over the world.

The European Formula Super A, the North American Formula Super A, and the World Championship Formula K were some of the titles he won during that period. All those wins in karting led to some outings in Formula 3.

In 1993, he started in six Italian Formula 3 races with MC Motorsport but without any success. The same happened in 1994 when he started just one race in British F3 with RC Motorsport.

1995 – Karting & Formula 3

Jarno Trulli, Dallara F395 Opel

Jarno Trulli, Dallara F395 Opel

Photo by: Sutton Images

Trulli kept on racing in karts in 1995 and kept on winning too. He was the first winner of the Memorial Ayrton Senna World Cup Trophy in the 100 FSA class.

His focus was more towards F3 in 1995 though. He entered the German Formula 3 Championship from the third round at the Norisring with KMS, but it was a rocky start. He had an eighth place and two disqualifications in his first three races.

Trulli’s performances and results steadily improved though and he won the last two races of the season. Despite not racing for a full season, he finished fourth in the standings with two wins, three podiums and one fastest lap. Norberto Fontana dominated that championship, Ralf Schumacher was second and Max Angelelli third in the points.

With the KMS team, Trulli also entered the Macau F3 Grand Prix. He qualified seventh but was able to climb up to second place in the race, 6.3s behind his future teammate in F1: Ralf Schumacher.

1996 – Formula 3

Race winner Jarno Trulli, celebrates on the podium

Race winner Jarno Trulli, celebrates on the podium

Photo by: Sutton Images

Trulli stayed with KMS in 1996, a team now backed by Opel and the Benetton F1 team run by Flavio Briatore. A busy F3 programme was set up for him, but the German F3 championship was his main goal.

Using all his previous F3 experience, he went in full attack mode from the start, winning the first two races from pole position. Trulli would go on to win the championship with a total of six wins, 10 podiums and five pole positions.

In the standings Arnd Meier (who raced in the VLN until 2011) was second, and Nick Heidfeld was third but some 68 points behind Trulli.

Jarno Trulli, Dallara F396 Opel

Jarno Trulli, Dallara F396 Opel

Photo by: Sutton Images

Things didn’t go so well for Trulli in the classic F3 races though. At Zandvoort for the F3 Masters, he started from 10th but finished only 19th from 32 starters. Belgian Kurt Mollekens won it that year.

In the Monaco F3 GP, Trullitook pole position and impressed the F1 paddock but, just like in Zandvoort, things did not turn out how he liked. He hit mechanical problems while leading and was classified 18th in the end.

Ralph Firman, Paul Stewart Racing, Jarno Trulli, KMS Benetton Formula

Ralph Firman, Paul Stewart Racing, Jarno Trulli, KMS Benetton Formula

Photo by: Sutton Images

After finishing second in the 1995 Macau GP, Trulli must have felt confident for a good result there in ‘96 but his hopes of overall victory were dashed in controversial circumstances.

Trulli was leading the second heat with a growing gap over Ralph Firman, who was his main rival for the win after poleman Nick Heidfeld had run off the track at Lisboa early on.

But with Trulli looking set to build up the time margin he needed to take the aggregate win, Firman crashed on the final lap and brought out the red flag. The results had to be taken from the previous lap: meaning Trulli lost out to Firman and would only be classified third in the end.

Third wasn’t what he wanted, but attention was already shifting to F1 – and he would duly make his debut in the 1997 Australian Grand Prix with Minardi.

Sources and info:

www.forix.com

Motorsport Stats: https://results.motorsportstats.com/drivers/jarno-trulli/career

shares
comments
Why Bottas didn’t win over Wolff at first sight
Previous article

Why Bottas didn’t win over Wolff at first sight

Next article

Leclerc set for remake of controversial driving movie

Leclerc set for remake of controversial driving movie
Load comments
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022