Trulli determined to celebrate

Jarno Trulli scored his first podium for the Renault F1 Team yesterday at Hockenheim. What was the funniest memory from his four days in Germany? Jarno didn't hesitate for a second before answering: "The huge string of 'good luck' garlic hanging...

Jarno Trulli scored his first podium for the Renault F1 Team yesterday at Hockenheim. What was the funniest memory from his four days in Germany? Jarno didn't hesitate for a second before answering: "The huge string of 'good luck' garlic hanging by my car made me smile..." admitted the Italian. "I am not really superstitious, but after the things I have had happen this season, I had started thinking that the bad luck was following me. The string of garlic worked for Jean Alesi, and his friends gave it to me on his recommendation. Now, I think it works!"

Jarno Trulli.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
The R23B was competitive straight away on Friday morning. "No major balance problems in spite of a green circuit: we worked through our technical programme and tyre evaluation," commented Jarno. "The heat will be a worry: the predicted temperatures for Sunday dictated our choices."

In the end, Jarno took a chance on using the softer Michelins on Saturday: the gamble had worked at Silverstone two weeks before. The same was true in Germany: fourth on the grid after a superb lap. "I didn't over-drive, and the car was perfect apart from being slightly nervous under braking. I enjoyed the flying lap, and the stopwatch did not disappoint!" However, Jarno had been worried before qualifying: "I didn't sleep very well, and felt like I had a temperature," he said. "Last night was a nightmare."

The Italian was feeling better on race day, but the temperatures were scorching: 35°C ambiant temperatures, and as much as 49°C on the track. At the start, Jarno avoided the accident between Ralf, Kimi and Rubens, and the two Renault were 2nd and 3rd when the safety car was deployed. "That was when I knew I could get a good result," explained Jarno. At the front, Juan Pablo Montoya began pulling away. "We worked out quite quickly that we were on different strategies. My aim was to control the cars behind me," explained Jarno. "I made my first stop on lap 14, and held position as the others stopped. I gave everything during the next stint, and once again managed to keep second place as I cam out of the pits from my last stop."

That was the beginning of a great battle. "Behind me, Michael and Coulthard started putting more and more pressure on me. Then the car's handling changed as the tyres began to blister: at that point, I knew things were going to be difficult." For ten laps, the number 8 Renault held off the Ferrari and McLaren. In the end, though, he had to give second best nine laps from the finish, as first Schumacher then Coulthard passed him. "That was when I saw the white flags for a slow car on the circuit, and passed the Ferrari," continued Jarno. "Finally, a bit of luck! And I was in a podium position again..."

As soon as he had crossed the line, Jarno slowed down and told the team he wasn't feeling well. "I didn't feel too good for a few minutes, but I couldn't miss the podium!" he concluded. "Then, the doctors tried to stop me from going to the second press conference. I didn't pay any attention: if you get a podium, you have to celebrate!"

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Jean Alesi
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Renault F1 Team