Toyota may have endured a rough time of things last year, but Jarno Trulli is full of optimism the Japanese manufacturer is now firmly back on-track to regaining the form it displayed in 2005, when he had been a regular contender for podium finishes and helped the Cologne-based outfit to fourth position in the constructors' standings.

With the dawn of the 2008 season now fast approaching, the Italian spoke to Crash.net Radio at the launch of the team's new TF108 challenger to express his hopes for the campaign ahead...

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE

Q:
Jarno, first of all how excited are you about the new season?

Jarno Trulli:
I feel positive and confident. We have a brand new car, the team has been working hard over the winter time to solve all the problems we had last year and it's a new season, so there's new motivation.

Q:
How frustrating has it been to have years like 2006 and 2007 after what Toyota achieved in 2005?

JT:
It's difficult to accept, because you expect from 2005 to move forwards; instead we didn't move much, which was a shame because we had been doing great things. Nonetheless, I really believe that just as we showed great performance in 2005, we can be capable of doing the same even as soon as 2008. You must always be motivated and ready to fight.

Q:
Has the lack of results last year put Toyota under more pressure this year do you think?

JT:
There's always pressure every year. It doesn't matter if you do well or badly; every year we talk about pressure. We all have responsibilities, we are all here to win and we all would like to win, so it's up to us to make the best with what we have.

Q:
You've got a new team-mate this year in the shape of reigning GP2 champion Timo Glock. How are the two of you working together so far?

JT:
It's early to say, but I've found him quite a nice guy and very easy-going so I'm happy to have him on-board. I'm sure he will push very hard and help me to push the team in the right direction.

Q:
Last year Toyota seemed to have decent pace in qualifying, but in the races the performance seemed to drop off a little bit. Is that one of the areas that's been worked on most over the winter?

JT:
To be honest, no. The fact that we didn't score as many points as we expected to after qualifying was due to other factors. The car was slightly better in qualifying, but our race pace was competitive too, especially in certain conditions. We had other problems, and particularly at the starts we were not so great. When you lose positions at the start it's difficult to make them back up again afterwards because the midfield battle is so tight.

Q:
[Technical directors] Luca Marmorini and Pascal Vasselon have both said the car is radically different to last year's model. It certainly looks very different, so you must be excited about driving it for the first time?

JT:
Yes, I'm really looking forward to finding out what kind of improvements we have made, compared to the other teams too. Obviously everyone has been working hard in order to make their car quicker, and we just hope we have made a better job of it.

Q:
One of the biggest changes from last season to this season is the lack of traction control now. What's your view on that?

JT:
I'm in favour of the traction control ban; I prefer to drive the car without it and have more input into the car.

Q:
Some drivers have suggested it might cause a few problems in wet races; do you think that could be a factor or not?

JT:
It's difficult to say. Obviously we've all raised the problem a little bit; it will be more difficult for us and maybe more dangerous, but let's wait and see.

Q:
Are there any races in particular you're looking forward to? Monaco is traditionally one of your favourite circuits, and there will be the new race in Singapore at night...

JT:
Not really. I'm just looking forward to racing everywhere, and especially I'm looking forward to having a quick, competitive car.

Q:
What goals have you set yourself with that car?

JT:
We will find out soon. At the moment it would be nice to have a better car than last year in order to perform always in the points. Let's fix the targets later on.

Q:
And possibly a podium or two along the way?

JT:
Podiums are always welcome!

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE

 

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