Jarno Trulli comments on Renault's announcement that Jenson Button will be replaced by Fernando Alonso next year. Q: Did you know about the team's plans to change your partner in the drivers' line-up? A: I knew that something was going on, but...
Jarno Trulli comments on Renault's announcement that Jenson Button will be replaced by Fernando Alonso next year.
Q: Did you know about the team's plans to change your partner in the drivers' line-up?
A: I knew that something was going on, but I was not deeply concerned because I have always had a good relationship with all my team-mates. So, in a way, I knew I would be happy whatever happened. I heard that Jenson was leaving and that Fernando was coming in only this week. Obviously, it doesn't change much for me really as a driver, as, from my point of view, the most important thing is to keep stability inside the team with the engineers, the mechanics and everyone else. We need to keep pushing!
Q: You and the team have made a lot of progress in the last year - are you happy with that, and what are your goals for next year?
A: We made a big step at the end of last season and we definitely made a much better car this year, but miracles don't happen in Formula One so it would be unrealistic to expect much more than we have achieved so far. We have done what we aimed to do by building up the group project and pushing it as hard as we can, improving step by step through the season on both the chassis side and on the engine side. So, I am really happy with the job done by the team.
Q: You have had a good relationship with Jenson. Are you sad to see him leaving the Renault 'family'?
A: Yes, I have had a very good relationship with Jenson on both the drivers' side and the personal side. So, in the one hand, it is a shame for me that he is leaving because we get on very well together. But, on the other hand, I will have a new team-mate who, again, is very young, but I have seen that these young drivers are really well prepared and they come into Formula One with a lot of mileage and good experience. So, for me, at the end of the day, it is not that they are young that matters. It is their performance and I know from personal experience that these drivers are both very quick.
Q: What are your hopes and ambitions for 2003?
A: I hope we can continue to progress, as we have from last year to this, and also try and keep the team together in order to push hard as a group. We must try very hard to close the gap to the best teams, Ferrari, Williams and McLaren. It is not going to be easy and we all know that, but I am confident we are moving in the right direction.