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Trulli: F1 can learn from NASCAR
15 January 2010
Clearly impressed after his recent trip to the United States to sample perhaps the most parochial motorsport category of all, Jarno Trulli has claimed that even Formula One can take a leaf or two out of NASCAR's book.
Speaking in response to commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone's latest radical scheme to spice up F1, the Italian veteran claimed that the sport should not be trying to reinvent itself, but instead concentrate on refining the current thinking to ensure that there was competition on-track and off.
A year on from recommending that F1 adopt a medal system instead of the traditional points - a move that would have seen Jenson Button crowned mid-season rather than in Brazil - Ecclestone has suggested that each track be redesigned to include a shortcut that would allow faster cars to pass slower rivals more easily.
"This is not a game, this is a sport," a horrified Trulli told
during an interview at the Lotus team's Higham base, "I think Bernie sometimes has very clear ideas, but this is just not possible in F1.
"We need to find a way to make this sport more interesting and, to make it more spectacular, we need to race wheel-by-wheel and cars have to be close to each other. Those sort of things. But we don't have to really invent new things.
"[NASCAR] have been very clever and very good in making sure that they keep the rules very consistent over the years and not changing them too much, otherwise people at home will get confused."
Ironically, among this year's changes are an alteration to the scoring system, albeit to reward the top ten finishers and give the podium trio a greater margin over those behind rather than introduce gold, silver and bronze medals. The exact nature of the change remains in question, however, with opponents claiming that the change doesn't alter much.
"To be honest, I don't care," Trulli, who moves to newcomer Lotus from the now-defunct Toyota team for 2010, "At the end of the day, you try to score as many points as possible and then, at the end of the season] you count it. I just go for it and see what I can do. My minimum target should be tenth and that's how I go racing."
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