The Renault F1 Team's Italian ace looks back over his 2003 season and talks about his ambitions for next year. There's no doubt about it: Jarno Trulli is raring to go. Q: Jarno, what's your assessment of the 2003 championship? Jarno ...
The Renault F1 Team's Italian ace looks back over his 2003 season and talks about his ambitions for next year. There's no doubt about it: Jarno Trulli is raring to go.
Q: Jarno, what's your assessment of the 2003 championship?
Q: And Renault's performances just carried on improving.
JT: Absolutely. At the start of the year, we were clearly the third-fastest team. Then, just before the halfway point in the championship, we suffered slightly up against Ferrari, Williams and McLaren. However, we reacted, and got back up to speed. We continued developing the car, and the new bodywork package which appeared at Silverstone gave us a boost in performance.
Q: Did the R23 live up to expectations?
JT: It was a big step compared to its predecessor, even though we had a few reliability worries. It was a quick car, and comfortable to drive. More importantly, it was predictable: it's a quality that gives the drivers confidence, and allows them to chase the last tenths of a second that can make the difference. At the end of the year, I was really enjoying myself: we were fighting for podiums, no matter what type of circuit it was.
Q: Does a particular qualifying lap or overtaking manoeuvre stand out as a special moment?
JT: There were so many good moments it's hard to say! I would probably say my qualifying lap in Malaysia, and some of the Friday performances which got me fastest time on a number of occasions. We were also competing for the win several times, and that's a good boost for morale.
Q: How's Fernando?
JT: He was fine last time we spoke! We call each other quite often, and I think we are a well-balanced pairing for the team. There is no in-fighting between us: the atmosphere is good, and that's a big plus for the team.
Q: What are your ambitions for 2004?
JT: To do better than 2003, first and foremost! Right now, I am very confident. I have never felt this good in a team, and I believe in Renault. I am sure we will be able to fight with the big teams. Of course, it will depend on our reliability with the new regulations that restrict us to one engine per weekend, but Viry is optimistic. On the other hand, all the other teams are working hard as well, and I expect things to be even closer next year.
Q: Do you think you changed in 2003?
JT: In the car, I am as quick as I ever have been, and my experience means I can deal with every kind of situation. However, I think I have developed from a personal point of view. Before, I retreated into my shell if things were going badly. Now, I think I am calmer. I have understood that if fate intervenes, there is nothing you can do about it, and the only way to keep the team motivated is to stay positive.