Trulli, between the driver and the team owner
Having raced in Formula One for 15 years means that you are well known in almost every place in the world. And during the visit of Formula E to Buenos Aires, this was no exception for Jarno Trulli. The Italian shared with Motorsport.com his impressions of the new series, how he is still adapting to being a team owner and the way he sees that the quality of Formula One drivers these days is very low.
Q: After you left Formula One in 2011, you were not racing again until Formula E. What made you come back and then actually get involved as a team owner?
Jarno Trulli: “Mainly the brand new concept of the series, totally different compared to what we had in today’s worldwide motorsports. I think it’s a great idea and it’s very good for the future and the results after the first races are proving that it’s probably a very, very interesting series which needs to be developed, but the direction for the future is great". . That’s the reason why I set up a team and I’m trying to give the team a strong future.”
Q: Do you believe that this new era that has started with Formula E is the future of motorsports?
Jarno Trulli: “Yes, definitely. I think there are a lot of points which show that is like what I’m saying and there is a lot of margin and things which can be improved, it’s only the first season, we have only done four races but the races we have done have been very successful in terms of media, numbers and specially fans reaction so I strongly believe that this has a great future.”
Q: How do you feel in this new role for you, being a driver and also team owner?
Jarno Trulli: “It is not easy at all, there’s lot of responsibility both as a driver and as a team owner and obviously my main aim is to give the team a strong future and in order to do that I also need to perform well as a driver so it is no easy to fit in different shoes but I’m trying to do my best”.
Q: Is it possible to have Trulli team racing in others series?
Jarno Trulli: “At the moment we are very focused on what we’re doing which is already quite a big effort and we strongly believe in what we’re doing as a team in Formula E, so at the moment, I’ll stick with what we’re doing. We have a project ready for this year and next year so I’ll stay focused on what we’re doing and we will see in the future”.
Q: What differences do you find between these cars of Formula E and the ones you used to drive in Formula One?
Jarno Trulli: “It’s a total different thing. As a driver’s point of view it’s a racing car, a normal racing car, but the way you approach the weekend, the way you work, the way you think and manage things is totally different because they are two different cars. So at the end of the day you have a total different approach because here we have a battery, we have power that needs to be handled and to manage in a proper way you need to learn a lot many more things that in the past were obvious to as. So as a driver point of view driving a car is exactly like in Formula One but the power is different and the management is different.”
Q: After seeing Michela Cerruti race, how would you grade her performance?
Jarno Trulli: “She had a slow start mainly because her lack of experience, especially with carbon brake cars. She’s getting better, already during the test in Punta del Este was getting better, but her trouble is mainly the fact that as a driver she’s young with not so much experience from the past and she’s struggling to get to the grip with the brakes. Once she can adapt to it I think she can be in the top 10, but so far she’s having some trouble. We are looking after her trying to help her as much as we can in order to give her a direction but obviously the limited time given by the series to learn doesn’t make it easy”.
Q: What opinion do you have of Formula One?
Jarno Trulli: “Things have changed dramatically and the main thing is that there are no more manufacturers in Formula One. We have only, basically, Mercedes and Ferrari now. Renault is half in and Honda is back. This has cost a lot in terms of quality and performance and teams and the general health of the series. So at the moment the general Formula 1 series is dramatically gone down in terms of quality and the fact that is so high in the cost doesn’t make a team life easy so that’s the reason why most of the drivers are paying drivers and that’s why also the quality of the drivers is very low”.