by Russell Atkins

Jarno Trulli admits although his strong result in the US Grand Prix last weekend was a shot in the arm for Toyota after a desultory first half to the 2007 campaign, the squad still has a long way to go if it is to fight for points and even podiums again on a regular basis.

The Italian qualified eighth at Indianapolis, his sixth top ten grid slot from seven races this year, and the fact team-mate Ralf Schumacher has only made it through to the final knock-out session on two occasions shows just how hard Trulli is pushing and transcending the limits of what has thus far proven to be a mediocre car.

Indy is a track that has frequently shone on the 32-year-old, who has notched up six points-scoring results from seven starts and registered Toyota's only Formula 1 pole position there back in 2005. What's more, his sixth place finish in America was significantly the Japanese outfit's most competitive showing of the campaign to date. While Jarno acknowledged it had been a motivating factor for all involved, he insisted there was much work to be done yet.

"It was a great boost for both myself and the whole team," he told Crash.net during testing at Silverstone this week. "It's great to score points and race as well as we did in Indy. That track just seems to bring me good results every time, though I've no idea why!

"Everybody in the team did a great job there and we got everything right, but the reality remains that we are missing pace and are still more than a second away from the top teams. We need a big push to improve the car in every area."

That drive to move forward was aided by an encouraging performance on day two of the test at the Northamptonshire circuit, as Trulli topped the timesheets with nine of the eleven teams present. Despite the typically unpredictable British weather it was, he stated, a positive session.

"It was good," he underlined. "We did a bit of set-up work ahead of the British Grand Prix and tried out some new things on the car. We didn't have any real problems.

"The rain did disrupt things quite a bit, though - it often plays quite an important role here. The track kept alternating between being quicker and slower, which made it difficult to understand the changes and reactions of the car."

As to what he believes he can achieve over the upcoming races, firstly at Magny-Cours in France - a track he knows particularly well from his Prost days - and then a week later at Silverstone, the former Monaco Grand Prix winner was unwilling to make any solid forecasts given the up-and-down nature of Toyota's season so far.

"We will just get there and see," he stressed, "because at the moment it's always difficult to predict. There's a big fight in the midfield, and it will all depend on the track, weather conditions, tyres and so on, but we've got the resources and the people we need to move forward so I really hope we can do it."

 

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