Jarno Trulli goes back over an historic weekend, when he took his first Grand Prix win, and Renault's first ever victory as a constructor in Monaco. "How can I describe this weekend? In Barcelona, I made it onto the podium and couldn't have been...
Jarno Trulli goes back over an historic weekend, when he took his first Grand Prix win, and Renault's first ever victory as a constructor in Monaco.
"How can I describe this weekend? In Barcelona, I made it onto the podium and couldn't have been happier. All I said in the press conference was that now, I needed to get my first pole and first win -- but I didn't expect them both to come so soon! I find it very hard to express what I am feeling, how the emotions are, but it is just fantastic for me, for the team, for everybody who has worked so hard. We have carried on pushing, and continued believing, and it just all came together perfectly here."
"We started the weekend quite optimistic, really. Testing had gone well since Barcelona, and we had found some improvements with the car, but we couldn't be certain whether that would translate to being quick here. Traditionally, Monaco is a good circuit for us, and I enjoy it here, but when we started running on Thursday then we could definitely see that things were going to be good. We made our tyre choice quite easily and I finished the first two practice sessions fourth fastest. It was close, but we still were not happy with the car -- it was not handling well, and I didn't feel completely confident."
"By Saturday, though, we knew which direction to go in. The car got better as more rubber was laid down and grip levels increased, so we were gradually dialling the car into the circuit and the conditions. I wasn't too fast through the first sector of the lap, but very quick in the next two, and I knew that would be critical for the race."
"When it came to qualifying, I ran thirteenth -- not the luckiest number, but also the day of my birthday. And I got everything right: it felt like a fantastic lap, and although the first sector wasn't so fast, I was literally flying in the second and third. It was an awesome feeling to take that first pole -- and I did it by four tenths of a second. I was pleased, but we didn't exaggerate -- you don't get any points on Saturday, and we knew it would be a long race."
"I didn't have any particular plans for the race -- just to drive flat out for 78 laps. In the end, it was 77 after the first start was aborted and that made the tension even worse, plus the car got very hot as well. But when the lights finally went out for good, I got a great start, Fernando did the same to slot in second, and we just put our strategy into action. I was very comfortable when the safety car came out for the first time, but as the race restarted, I could pull away again and build a cushion to Fernando."
"I kept the lead in the first stops, and was just concentrating on driving consistently and not losing too much time in traffic, when the second safety car came out for Fernando's crash. We pitted immediately, and fuelled to the finish -- I came out second behind Michael who hadn't stopped, but I knew we could beat him as he still had a stop to make and I was right behind."
"After he crashed in the tunnel, it was just a question of doing 30 qualifying laps to keep Jenson behind! I wasn't too lucky with the traffic, but I did enough to keep the lead and maintain my cushion. The car was fantastic, just so easy to drive and very consistent, and even though Jenson was close at the finish, I knew I was safe."
"So I took the chequered flag in the lead of a Grand Prix for the first time -- what a moment! I thanked the team straight away, pulled round to the finish line and went to collect the trophy. I suppose it was a perfect weekend, getting pole and the win -- plus I set second fastest lap. Any first win is special, but doing it at Monaco is even better -- this is a classic race, a special place to win, and I am proud to be one of the few who have done so."
"Thanks to everybody for their encouragement and congratulations, it means a lot to me -- see you on Thursday in Germany!"