|Born||13 July 1974|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Team(s)||Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault F1, Toyota, Lotus|
|First Grand Prix||1997 Australian Grand Prix|
|Entries||256 (252 starts)|
|Final Grand Prix||2011 Brazilian Grand Prix|
Jarno Trulli is an Italian racing driver. He competed in Formula One from 1997 to 2011. His best result in the World Drivers' Championship was sixth place in 2004; this was also the year in which he scored the only win of his Formula One career at the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix. Throughout his Formula One career, Trulli was renowned for his skill in qualifying, regularly achieving far better grid positions than rivals with superior cars to his own. Trulli retired from Formula One at the start of the 2012 after having competed in the championship for 15 years.
His parents were motorsport fans and named their son after Jarno Saarinen, the Finnish Grand Prix motorcycle racing champion who was killed at Monza in 1973. He started racing in karts at an early age. From 1988 to 1990 he was the Italian champion in 100cc karting, before becoming World Karting Champion in 1991.
In 1995 Trulli graduated to German Formula Three winning two races to finish fourth. After only a half season driving in F3, his results were impressive enough for three F1 teams to come calling. Trulli chose to go with Benetton who offered him a full season in the German F3 Championship with the KMS team. Trulli won six races and the Championship.
In 1997 Trulli planned to race F3000 in Japan, but a call from Minardi allowed him to make his Formula One debut. His first races revealed his flowing style, and after 7 races he replaced the injured Olivier Panis at Prost and impressed immediately, finishing fourth in Germany and even leading in Austria, looking set to finish second until his engine blew. Panis returned for the last three races of the season ending Trulli's year. He finished the season in 15th place with a total of 3 points beating both Minardi teammate Ukyo Katayama and Prost teammate Shinji Nakano.
Trulli stayed with the Prost team for the 1998 season partnering Olivier Panis. The first year of the Prost-Peugeot partnership however was a disaster. The car was unreliable and inefficient, with Jarno scoring only a single point in Belgium where it rained. At the Canadian Grand Prix Trulli was involved in a turn one crash with Benetton driver Alexander Wurz bringing out the red flag. Trulli was not injured and restarted the race in the spare car. Trulli managed to beat his teammate Panis, who had hardly recovered from his injuries sustained the year before, finishing in 16th place overall.
Trulli once again stayed with Prost for 1999 alongside Panis. Trulli eventually scored his first podium in wet conditions at the 1999 European Grand Prix, staying cool under serious pressure from Rubens Barrichello to finish second. This was however not the norm, with only one other points score coming from the whole season in an uncompetitive car. He finished the season in 11th place with a total of seven points. Trulli was under contract for 2000 at Prost, but the team's relative lack of success enabled him to leave for Jordan Grand Prix.
In 2000 Trulli joined the Irish Jordan team run by Eddie Jordan, replacing the retired Damon Hill. The team was however no longer the force it had been in the late 1990s. His qualifying speed in particular impressed, but he was unable to score a podium. The team had been on course for major points at Monaco, but poor luck intervened: Trulli was ahead of eventual winner David Coulthard until his engine expired. Trulli managed to score 6 points and finish the season in 10th place behind teammate Frentzen.
Trulli stayed with Jordan for 2001, along side Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Jordan now had Honda power however the team's fortunes did not improve. Trulli managed to finish fourth at Barcelona and Indianapolis, and he finished the season in an improved 9th position with 12 points. Under long-term contract to personal manager (and Renault manager) Flavio Briatore, Trulli secured a contract with the Anglo-French squad for 2002.
Trulli Joined the new Renault F1 team for 2002, alongside Jenson Button. A tough year of car unreliability and bad luck followed, as the new team found its feet, however Trulli often outqualified his British teammate, but was generally shaded in races. His best finish was a fourth at Monaco and Italy. Trulli finished the season in 8th place in the WDC, with 9 points, his highest placing so far.
Regardless of Button's improved pace the previous season, it was Trulli who stayed at Renault for 2003 to partner promoted test-driver Fernando Alonso. The 2003 Renault was a strong car and in Alonso's hands won in Hungary. Trulli struggled to attain similar results, but did achieve a podium in Germany, his first since leaving Prost, and a fourth in the United States. He ended the season with a total of 33 points and finished once again in 8th place.
Mindful of how much Alonso had outperformed him in 2003, Trulli improved markedly the next year. For the first half of the season he was the better of the two Renault drivers, racking up regular points and podiums. At Monaco he finally took his first victory after a brilliant display from pole position. Having performed so well, the Italian was eager to stick with the team for 2005, but his relationship with team-boss Briatore soured. A last corner error which allowed Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello onto the podium in France enraged the team, and from that point his days with the French manufacturer were numbered.
For the second half of 2004, Trulli failed to gain any points and was consistently off the pace during races. He later accused the team of favouring Alonso, but the reasons why his 2004 season deteriorated have never been properly identified. He was sacked three races before the end of the season and replaced by 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Trulli had already agreed to drive for Toyota in 2005, and his early exit from Renault allowed him to take up his new seat for the last two races of the 2004 season, replacing Ricardo Zonta. He ended the season in 6th place with 46 points, the best in his career.
Trulli started his first full year with Toyota in 2005. He achieved the team's first front row start by qualifying second in Australia, and then repeated that feat at the next race, the 2005 Malaysian Grand Prix. Then, maintaining his position throughout the race, Trulli scored the team's first podium with a second place. Trulli followed this up with two more podiums, second place in Bahrain and third place in Spain. At the ill-fated Indianapolis Trulli took Toyota's first F1 pole (albeit with very low fuel). For the vast majority of the year he outpaced highly paid team-mate Ralf Schumacher, but a late season dip in form saw him slip to seventh in the championship with 43 points, two points behind the German.
In 2006, Trulli suffered a very poor start to the season. On the first lap of the 2006 Australian Grand Prix, he was taken out by David Coulthard. He seemed to be outpaced by team-mate Ralf Schumacher more often than not, but his reputation was restored when he raced to 6th from 4th on the grid at the Canadian Grand Prix. Following this was a 4th place in the United States Grand Prix. From then on, he would only score 3 more times, with a couple of 7th place finishes in the German Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix and also a 6th place in the Japanese Grand Prix. There was even bad luck here, as his car became troublesome to drive mid-race, and Ralf Schumacher was delayed in the process. Trulli was racing very well in the season finale at Interlagos, but bad luck robbed him again, as his car suffered suspension failure in only the first 10 laps, a fate which befell his team-mate at the same time. He finished 12th overall.
Trulli scored his first points of 2007 in Malaysia, finishing in 7th place after qualifying 8th. A couple more points followed in Bahrain, but he stalled on the grid at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix and dropped out during the early laps due to mechanical failure. Monaco brought no better fortune for Trulli, as he finished down in 15th place, just ahead of team-mate Schumacher, after qualifying his season-worst 14th. Points were collected by Trulli at the Indianapolis for 6th place. After a series of non-scoring runs, Trulli said that the result was 'incredible'. He also qualified well for the French Grand Prix but crashed with the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen on the opening lap, and duly retired because of the damage. Trulli accepted the blame for the incident. The second half of the season was disappointing with Trulli's only point coming in the final race of the season at Brazil.
Post season there had been reports that Trulli's contract was not safe, and that he may have be replaced in the Toyota team for 2008 by Heikki Kovalainen. These proved unfounded as Kovalainen signed for McLaren.
In 2008, Trulli was hoping Toyota would make a big step forward. Timo Glock was confirmed as his team-mate for the season. Trulli started the season quite well, with several points scoring finishes, the height of which was a fourth place finish in Malaysia. Trulli's qualifying performances were also very good throughout the first few rounds of the Championship. His form then slumped a little, with disappointing performances in Turkey and Monaco, as he finished in non-points scoring positions.
However, he bounced back from this with a 6th place finish in Montreal. He then topped that in France by finishing on the podium in 3rd place, holding off the challenge of Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica in the closing laps.
He qualified on the front row alongside pole-sitter Felipe Massa for the season-ending Brazilian GP, which was to decide the 2008 world championship between Massa and Lewis Hamilton. During the race, Trulli had several close shaves in the changeable weather conditions, and eventually finished 8th. His team-mate Glock played a pivotal part in the title outcome as he was passed by Hamilton on the last corner of the race, which gave the Englishman the championship by one point from Massa, who won easily.
Trulli was confident going into 2009. In the first race of the 2009 season, the Toyotas of Trulli and Glock started the race from the pitlane as their qualifying times were disallowed due to Toyota's flexible rear wing breaching regulations. Although Trulli started from the pit lane, he finished in an impressive 3rd place before being penalised 25 seconds, dropping him to 12th position for passing Lewis Hamilton under the safety car. A few days after this decision, Hamilton was disqualified from the race results for 'misleading' the race stewards by insisting that Jarno Trulli had passed him under the Safety Car although Hamilton in fact let him pass on purpose due to an order given by the team from the pitlane. Jarno Trulli therefore regained his third place finish. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Trulli qualified on pole position but due to an unconventional tyre strategy, he finished third. However he did record the fastest lap, the only time he has achieved this in his career. He holds the record of having started the most Grands Prix before recording a fastest lap.
He crashed out of the Spanish Grand Prix after being forced off the track at the second corner and being collected by Adrian Sutil, and then had a poor performance in Monaco as the Toyotas qualified on the back row of the grid. Improvements saw him score points in three of the next four races, before the following four rounds saw him struggle again as he failed to finish in the Top 10. At the Singapore Grand Prix he placed 12th while team-mate Glock was second. Trulli then fought back at the Japanese Grand Prix (which would prove to be Toyota's last home race) by qualifying and finishing second. He then qualified fourth in torrential conditions in Brazil, but like in Spain collided with Adrian Sutil on the opening lap of the race, an incident which enraged Trulli as he blamed Sutil for the crash. His obvious display of anger towards Sutil (who also retired) afterwards earned him a $10,000 fine. Trulli finished seventh at the season finale in Abu Dhabi scoring his final points in Toyota F1's last race.
On 14 December 2009, Trulli was confirmed as one of the newly-formed Lotus team's drivers, joining former McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen. At the launch of the Lotus T127, Trulli admitted in an interview with Autosport that US F1 and Sauber had been in contact with him. He only finished one of the opening four races, a weaker reliability record than Kovalainen, leading him to note that "everything happens on my car and my car only – so to this day, my expectations have not been met". Across the season Trulli suffered seven retirements and no points finishes, he best result being fifteenth at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He ended the season in 21st place overall. At the end of the year, rumours circulated about the retirement of Trulli and his departure to NASCAR.
Trulli continued to drive for Lotus in 2011, with the team being renamed Team Lotus. He again partnered Kovalainen. Trulli's season started with thirteenth in Australia, before a retirement with a clutch problem in Malaysia. Trulli finished each of the next six races, equaling his best season finish of thirteenth in Monaco. In Britain, he retired with an oil leak.
For the German Grand Prix, Trulli was replaced by reserve driver Karun Chandhok. When he returned in Hungary, he retired due to a water leak. He finished 14th at both the Belgian Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix, where it was announced that Trulli would be retained for the 2012 season. After retiring in Singapore with a gearbox failure, Trulli finished 19th in Japan, 17th in Korea and 19th again, in India. At the final two races Trulli finished 18th and ended the season once again in 21st with no points.
Team Lotus was renamed to Caterham F1 ahead of the 2012 season. Trulli drove in one pre-season test, but on 17 February 2012 it was announced that he was to be replaced by Russian driver Vitaly Petrov. This left Formula One without an Italian driver at the start of the season, for the first time since 1969.
Trulli's original helmet design was white with a blue shape around the visor with a blue circle in the top and a green J with a red T in the sides. A ring around the blue circle was incorporated when he raced at Jordan and Renault, being coloured after the team's main sponsor.
In 2004 his helmet changed from white to chromed silver and the shape, the J and the T became chromed with black outline. Later, in his first Toyota years the top became red and was added a white ring around the red circle.
Finally in 2008 the helmet turned red with the J and the T of the original colours (and white outline) plus a white line on the chin area. In 2011 the helmet design remained intact, but with a change of the shades of colour from chromed to normal shades (the chromed silver becomes white).
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
‡ Half points awarded as less than 75% of race distance was completed.
† Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they had completed over 90% of the race distance.