Jarno Trulli planning to start a ‘new season’ in Hungary
Jarno Trulli cannot wait to start his 'second season' in seven days time – despite being given a watching brief for this weekend's German Grand Prix.
The Team Lotus driver confirmed yesterday he 'already has a contract for next year' and is determined to be a part of what he sees as a bright future for Norfolk's Formula One outfit.
'This clears the air for so many people who have been talking rubbish,' said Trulli. 'I couldn't talk before, but things have to happen at the right time.
'This year we have made a big step forward compared to last year, and next year when we take on board Kers and everything, we should be more competitive. So the future is looking bright.'
Trulli's 15th season in the sport has been a difficult one, where problems with the T128's power steering system have severely hampered his confidence and ability to push.
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Indian reserve driver Karun Chandhok has been handed the reins for this weekend – but Trulli is expected to return for the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend, along with a much anticipated upgrade to his power steering unit.
'I'd rather do this now so I can start a complete new season from the next race,' added Trulli, talking to the Press Association. 'I have to admit that so far with this power steering I have not had a very good time. I've been up and down, not feeling very comfortable.
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'It's true that being on the outside is never nice for a racing driver, but on the other hand I've always felt I've not been able to get the best out of the car, the best out of myself.
'Although if you look at the results so far, the best have come from me.
'So I'm looking to having a better feeling and getting the best out of things.
'When Tony (Fernandes, team principal) came and said he wanted to do this, I knew it was for the sake of the team, so I agreed to do it.
'It's a positive thing, but the most important thing now is Karun gets some experience in the car and does well.
'The second best thing will be to get a car I can drive with the power steering fixed so I can start my season.'
Chandhok's preparations for his first race with the Hingham constructor were smooth enough during free practice at Nurburgring – although he was outpaced by the Virgin of Timo Glock, with Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen leading Formula One's 2010 'new' teams.
Fernando Alonso carried his momentum from winning the British Grand Prix 12 days ago into the sessions, topping the time sheet in the morning and finishing second to Red Bull's Mark Webber in the afternoon.
Reigning champion and runaway title leader Sebastian Vettel was third quickest, going into Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race.