Jarno Trulli has declared that he deserves some sort of recognition for what he went through in 2010, an F1 campaign that he has rated as possibly the worst of his lengthy career.
Having started at the back of the field with Minardi, and endured difficult times at Prost, the Italian has since moved up and down the grid, before opting to prolong his stay in the top flight by joining the Lotus racing squad for 2010. Although he expected little more than attempting to confirm Tony Fernandes' team as best of the three newcomers entering F1 last season - a feat Lotus achieved - Trulli again suffered a troubled season, with unreliability accounting for a number of otherwise promising races. He eventually ended the season 21st overall, without a point, and behind team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, courtesy of the Finn's better finishing record.
"I think I deserved the medal for the unluckiest driver of the year," Trulli, who also enjoyed relative success with the likes of Renault and Toyota, told italiaracing.net
, "The number of breakages I suffered during the season was 'impressive' - I think it was 15 out of 19 races - so there is no need to say that it was the worst season of my whole career."
While Trulli's DNF/DNS record actually only accounts for eight of the season's races, several others were compromised by problems with the T127, leaving him with a best result of 13th, from the Japanese Grand Prix. Despite that, however, the veteran admits that he is looking forward to 2011, where he is expected to remain alongside Kovalainen at Lotus and hopes to benefit from Fernandes securing Renault engines and Red Bull Racing's rear-end treatment.
"Fernandes pushed really hard to get a better engine and gearbox package that allows us to look forward, with greater confidence, to next season," he continued, "Forget 2010, because I think that, next year, we could
start to fight for points.
"It takes a long time [to be successful]. Look at Red Bull, it is now a top ranking team but one that has grown year after year until they reached victory. But not all succeed. I raced for Toyota, which had great resources, unlimited possibilities, but have never achieved what they wanted in terms of results. Team Lotus and Fernandes are working fine, but should be aware that it will take time to reach the top."