Italian Jarno Trulli is confident of a good performance in this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix as he bids to score his first points for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team following a string of difficult results since the start of the season. Trulli ...
Italian Jarno Trulli is confident of a good performance in this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix as he bids to score his first points for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team following a string of difficult results since the start of the season.
Trulli believes the challenging circuit will suit the R202 and cannot wait for the opportunity to join his team-mate, Briton Jenson Button, on the World Championship scoreboard after a promising performance at the last race, in Austria.
"We know the car will be good," said Trulli. "I am really confident about this weekend. You have to take the positives from a weekend like Austria, and although I had a problem with qualifying, I was in contention for points in the race until the engine blew.
"It's strange because in one sense, the problems have seen me working closely with the team under real pressure, and I have established a great relationship with everybody. I feel sad for them because they work so hard to give me a reliable car and I am looking forward to my first points for the satisfaction of the team and myself. Once the results come the relationship will become even stronger."
Button, who is currently sixth in the Drivers' World Championship with eight points, is also expecting a strong performance at the harbour-side circuit, but is wary that he will have to use his time well during what will be a very busy weekend.
Like Trulli, Button is a Monaco resident, but doesn't subscribe to the theory that Monaco is the best event of the year.
"In fact, I think it's probably the worst of all," said Button. "We're always very busy, and it's hard to work properly, even just to get around, because of the distance between the paddock and the pits. But I'm still looking forward to it - the weekend is great for the public, getting so close to the cars, and it's an exciting place to drive fast!"
Button jokes that his favourite place on the gruelling circuit is "the last corner before the chequered flag," but added: "Seriously, Casino Square is amazing. It is very, very fast and if you make one mistake you are off."
Both Button and Trulli will benefit from the strict fitness regime operated by the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team, as the race will present a tough work out for the drivers. But he does not believe the track demands any more skill than any other on the Grand Prix calendar.
"It is pretty tough physically on your hands and arms," said Button. "Keeping control of the car over the bumps is really difficult because there are so many of them, and it certainly takes more time to learn because every corner is blind and the surface is low in grip.
"But at least we have a day off on Friday! That is a great idea because it is the only day I have had off since before the Austrian Grand Prix - I have been flat out! It will be nice to have a break."
Trulli is aware of the importance of finding the perfect set-up to cope with the demands of the circuit and the Italian insists that a mixture of caution and speed is the recipe for success in Monaco.
"The restriction of the circuit means you need to be very reactive in the very tight corners and you need a good feeling from the car," said Trulli. "It is a strange track to drive compared to other circuits and all the little things need to be in place because you can gain time everywhere. You have to be careful and quick at the same time.
"The physical factors make the race a real psychological challenge and it is tricky to maintain concentration. It is a long race and there are lots of corners but, for me, the quick part of the swimming pool section is the most exciting."