Jarno Trulli pumped for Malaysia F1 challenge

Jarno Trulli is ready to show Team Lotus' true pace at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

Some were disappointed with the Norfolk outfit's opening display in Australia, where tyre struggles hid any signs of closing the gap on Formula One's midfield pack.

But as the Hingham-based team, which runs under a Malaysian licence, prepares for one of its two 'home' races this season, Trulli is hopeful.

'I'm really fired up for this weekend's race,' said the Italian. 'This is our home race and we want to do our best to make the fans proud of us.

'There will be a lot of support for us in the stands and having been here for a week I've already seen that the level of support has gone up a lot since last year, so whatever happens it will be a great weekend for us.'

Friday's two free practice sessions were a mixed bag – test driver Davide Valsecchi got his first taste of the car but reliability issues restricted Heikki Kovalainen's running to just four laps in the afternoon.

'We managed to get through most of the program but the fact the traffic held up my quickest lap I think masks how we're really looking in outright pace,' said Trulli.

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'It's a bit tough as we have had a great build-up to the race here, and the support we have had from the fans and the media in Malaysia has been just great, so we'll work hard to make sure we put on a good performance in qualifying and on Sunday.'

Once again the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel look to have a healthy advantage over the rest of the field.

However a lack of pace at Ferrari, Group Lotus-backed Renault and Mercedes could make for a fascinating weekend further down the grid.

Sepang qualifying takes place from 9am GMT on Saturday, with the race starting on Sunday at the same time.