Renault driver Jarno Trulli What does it mean to you to be with Renault? First of all, this is a team and a company which know what winning is all about - Renault claimed eleven championships in the 1990s, and are definitely back to do it...
Renault driver Jarno Trulli
What does it mean to you to be with Renault?
First of all, this is a team and a company which know what winning is all about - Renault claimed eleven championships in the 1990s, and are definitely back to do it again. I feel proud to be leading a legend's return to the track. More than this, though, being with Renault means that, for the first time in my career, I've got the full resources of a major manufacturer behind me, and that adds something in every area: the depth of talent is greater, the facilities are phenomenal and the philosophy is clearly defined. Everybody involved with the project is excited to be back, and back for the long term.
How was the pre-season training camp in Kenya?
Fun! We spent almost two weeks out there, and it was a really productive programme. I already knew the Renault F1 Performance guys from my training after the season, but it was a good opportunity for us all to understand each other a little better. I also spent lots of time with my team mates Jenson and Fernando, and it was a nice relaxed atmosphere to start to get to know them in.
How are you getting on with Jenson - do you have similar characters?
Jenson just seems like a really laid back, genuine person: I get on well with him. Obviously, we're both very competitive, and want to do well for the team, but I think we'll have a good year, pushing each other hard and helping Renault F1 to make real progress up the grid.
What is the feeling in the team as it approaches this season?
We're ready to go! The new car's on schedule, and everybody in the team is quietly confident about the year ahead. We're optimistic about building on the momentum from the end of last season, and all the guys back at the factory are looking forward to seeing last year's hard work begin to pay off.
You have been involved with Flavio for some time, how is your relationship?
My relationship with Flavio is good. I've got great respect for everything he's achieved, and it's great to have the opportunity to work with him. He brought me into F1, and has helped me into the Renault F1 team, and I want to make the most of the opportunity. I'm keen to do well, both for me personally, but also to repay the faith Flavio has shown: he's given me my chance, and it's now up to me to prove I deserve it.
What are your aims for the coming season for yourself and for the team?
There's no way in which you can separate my aims from the team's. We are aiming to be in the top four in the Constructors' Championship at the end of the year, so we have to be looking for regular points finishes, and maybe some podium positions. Of course, if I could help us on the way with my first win, I wouldn't complain!
Who do you see as the main rivals and why?
What technical input have you had on this year's car?
None: I arrived too late in the process to be able to have any impact on the design beyond tailoring the cockpit to my personal preferences. This year, I hope to be able to give good, high-quality feedback to my engineers, and really help the team to make progress with the development of the car.
Why do you think the team will become winners?
We have a long-term strategy: Renault F1 has the commitment and experience needed to win races, and win championships. The team took a brave decision last year to develop the new engine in public, but it was a calculated gamble. Already, the car for 2003 is being worked on, and the team in Viry isn't far away from beginning for 2004. The whole team is focused on winning championships in the future, and this is just a step on the road towards success. Renault means business.
What would it mean to you to take Renault to the top?
It's simple: honour, pride and joy. Obviously, it's my personal dream to win the championship, but to do it for a company like Renault would be something else again. It would mean I had earned my place in a legendary heritage which stretches back almost a century; more importantly, I'd have earned this success on behalf of the six hundred people back at the factories, but also the hundreds of thousands of Renault employees around the world. The whole company is excited to be back in F1, and wants to do well. That's a massive responsibility on my shoulders, but also a big expression of faith, and I want to repay that in the best way I can!