Toyota F1 refugee Jarno Trulli has confessed that things are 'evolving rapidly' regarding his immediate future in 2010 – but as rumours intensify about a possible NASCAR switch, the experienced Italian insisted that he has 'satisfied his curiosity'...for now at least.
In company with former F1 rival Mika Salo, Trulli tried out a Michael Waltrip Racing-run Toyota Camry Sprint Cup machine around the 800-metre New Smyrna Speedway oval in Florida last month – and afterwards had the team singing his praises regarding his performance behind the wheel. The experience, it seems, was an enjoyable one for both parties.
“It all went very well,” the 35-year-old told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
. “I covered 400 laps and put in a very strong showing. The team was pleasantly impressed, because after only two runs I was already lapping at the same speed as the best and I did several long runs too. Steve Hallam – [Mika] Hakkinen and [Kimi] Raikkonen's race engineer at McLaren – was there, and I also received advice from Juan-Pablo Montoya.
“[The hardest thing] was adapting to being inside a closed cockpit, but in the end you get used to the walls being so close. The aerodynamics are practically inexistent, whilst setting the car up throws up an infinity of possibilities – far more than in F1. I was also impressed by the requirement for a smooth driving style, as this has always been my forté.”
Clearly interested in a move across the Pond in the fullness of time, Trulli has been quick to stress, however, that in 2010 he sees himself still firmly on the grand prix grid – what would be his 14th full season at the highest level. The Abruzzese has been most strongly linked with newcomer Lotus F1 thanks to his strong working relationship with Mike Gascoyne, and he admitted that an announcement is not far off.
“For now I have satisfied my curiosity [for NASCAR],” underlined the Pescara native, a veteran of some 216 grand prix starts. “As to the future, I will have to decide. The situation is evolving rapidly, so stay tuned – soon you will know everything.”