Renault's Jarno Trulli finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in fifth place. He explains the details of his weekend. "The week started in the traditional fashion: the Mild Seven Pit Party in downtown KL. It was held at a brand new venue this year,...
Renault's Jarno Trulli finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in fifth place. He explains the details of his weekend.
"The week started in the traditional fashion: the Mild Seven Pit Party in downtown KL. It was held at a brand new venue this year, the Zouk nightclub, which opened especially for the evening: it was downtown right by the famous twin towers, and we had a great night meeting the fans, signing autographs and enjoying the show they put on. It is a great way to start the weekend, and really motivates you to put in a good display for the race!"
"We started the weekend optimistic, and we were reasonably happy with the performance on Friday. Obviously, our main job was choosing between the two tyres, and things actually changed quite a lot during the day: one compound looked good in the morning, but as the track evolved and more rubber got laid down, the choice became a lot easier to make. In terms of set-up, I was reasonably happy with the car, but it was handling quite nervously and inconsistently, and we had a big programme to get through on Friday evening to work out some answers for Saturday. I finished the session sixth, which was OK, but we knew there was more performance to come."
"The next two practice sessions went well: we had made some changes to the car, after looking at some of Fernando's set-ups as well. It was immediately better in the low speed corners, while some tweaks meant we found the high-speed stability we had been looking for too. We went P6 in the first session, then carried on working and ended up P4 before qualifying."
"We thought that we could make it on to the front row or the second row on our strategy, and so the engineers decided to run quite low fuel in first qualifying to get us running at the end of the second session, and it worked: I ended up second just behind Fernando. We expected cooler temperatures later on to work to our advantage, so after a long wait I finally got out on to the circuit."
"Unfortunately, the lap wasn't one of my best: it was actually very quick, but I made three mistakes which cost a lot of time, in Turn 2, Turn 14 and Turn 15: in total, the engineers worked out that they were worth nearly a second. We lined up eighth, not too bad, but certainly well below expectations."
"The start of the race was pretty dramatic! I got away well, and jumped to fifth -- although I definitely hit Jenson's car, which I didn't mean to happen, but fortunately it didn't spoil his race. Then, until the first stop, it was a big fight with me, Rubens and Jenson: we passed each other a few times, as the circuit was very slippery, but it was all very clean, and good fun. The second stint was very short, and I got ahead of Jenson, but didn't pull away as much as I had wanted to: the tyres had already started graining in the second stint."
"After the next stop, though, things got worse. We had added some front downforce to help cure the handling, but things got worse and I just couldn't keep up with the cars around me. I had been running fourth, dropped back after the second pit-stop, and though I gained a place once Raikkonen retired to climb to fifth, that was where I finished. We were running well at the end, and I was competitive with Rubens in front but I couldn't catch him."
"Having started eighth, fifth is pretty good, and overall I am happy with how we performed. Obviously, the car is good in hot conditions, and that gives us hope for the next race in Bahrain. Now, we will have a break before getting down to work and preparing for this brand new circuit. It should be a great race!"