The second Gran Premio di Cagliari, held last weekend in the Sardinian capital, included a special treat for the fans: a live demonstration of the R23B with Jarno Trulli at the wheel. Jarno Trulli. Photo by LAT Photographic. The local...
The second Gran Premio di Cagliari, held last weekend in the Sardinian capital, included a special treat for the fans: a live demonstration of the R23B with Jarno Trulli at the wheel.
Attention focused on the pitlane, and then, slowly, the yellow and blue car edged out of the garage and onto the circuit, feeling its way around the narrow course. Noise echoing from wall to wall, building to building. Then the show could begin: practice starts, tyre-smoking doughnuts, and the thrill of seeing a Formula 1 car up close, at speed.
"It is definitely narrow out there!" joked Jarno after the demonstration runs, "but I still managed to get into fifth gear..." The Italian completed two demonstration runs on Saturday, including practice starts, pitstops and some tyre smoking artistry at the first corner, before repeating the show again on Sunday. "I am very pleased to be here in Cagliari, and to be able to show our fans in Sardinia what a Formula 1 car can really do. This is a really fantastic event. Usually, the fans come to see Formula 1 but this year, with Renault, we have tried to take Formula 1 to the fans. They seem to enjoy it!"
Inevitably, the tortuous streets brought back memories from earlier in his career. "When I was karting, we had a new street circuit to learn every weekend, and it teaches you lots about not making mistakes and how the car changes during a weekend. In F1, of course, we have Monaco, and the drivers love it: compared to some of the other circuits, you can really make a difference on this type of track."
After a long season, thoughts are also turning to 2004: ahead is a winter of hard work and training to be in peak shape for next March. "We had a great season in 2003, and exceeded our expectations, but there is lots of hard work ahead," concluded Jarno. "We are keeping our feet firmly on the ground, but I am optimistic about our chances for next year."