Jarno Trulli extends Lotus contract for 2012

2012 F1 season

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Jarno Trulli will remain at Lotus in 2012 having extended his contract with the team.

Trulli has been with the team since 2009 but missed one race earlier this year, when he was substituted for Karun Chandhok at the Nurburgring.

Trulli said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to confirm today that my contract with Team Lotus has been extended into 2012.

“The challenge I first accepted when I joined the team is becoming more exciting every day, and I am very proud that I can keep helping the team take steps forward for at least another year. I would like to thank Tony, Kamarudin and Nasa for the chance to keep working with them, Riad, Mike and the whole team and I am looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes added: “We are all delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement to keep Jarno on board for at least one more year with our team.

“He has shown in qualifying in Monza just how much pace he has and how he can wring every last drop of performance out of his car and since day one with us he has brought a level of professionalism, insight and raw speed to our team that has helped accelerate our development on and off track.

“Today’s announcement will give us the benefit of his experience and knowledge into 2012, another very important year in the growth of our team.”

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Image © Team Lotus

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Jarno Trulli extends Lotus contract for 2012”

  1. The right decision. When everything is working for him he is almost always better than Kovalainen, so if they can get the car and power steering right from the start next year he should do well.

    1. The thing is most of the everything isn’t working for him so most of the time he’s behind Kovalainen.
      Trulli’s a nice guy and everything but I’m not sure why he’s still in F1.

      1. In the second half of last season he destroyed Kovalainen in qualifying and race pace. Clearly Lotus can make the car right for him, they just need to do it in testing and not half way through the season.

        1. NO, what are you talking about have you seen Quali this year, Trulli has only out qualified Heikki twice this season, Heikki has been in Q2 3 times and Trulli 0. And to be honest the only reason the Trulli is ahead in the championship is because Heikki has had a very un-reliable car, Trulli is to old to be racing now, if I was Tony I would have told him to get lost, because all he has done is mone and bring negativity to the team.

          1. Did you read what I wrote? Your rant has nothing to do with what I was saying.

          2. Yeah is that why is still lost to him and other drivers last season quali’s one thing but you have to make it stick. And through the whole season he finished behind Heikki in every race apart from when he retired. He only out qualified about 7 times in the whole season and first half was better than the second, did you actually watch last season.

          3. Yes I did. You should have paid more attention last year and noticed that more often than not Trulli was ahead of Kovalainen in the race but had by far the majority of mechanical failures in the Lotus team.

    2. Right decision? Yeah. (Read that with Mika Hakkinen’s voice)

  2. Good news. I bet Karun is disappointed though.

    1. Chandhok didn’t stand at all close to Kovalainen. Trulli has got better since the first half given his power steering half and hence as improved on that.

      For representative sake, Senna has been out of racing for approx the same time, having done a test earlier this year while Chandhok got a practice or two.

      Senna has stood up far better so it’s not the lack of time so much as the lack of ability compared to Trulli and Kovalainen. Hence these two were fairly chosen and whatver chandhok feels it shouldn’t be as bad as if he was cheated

  3. I think it’s a mistake. Trulli’s past it. He helped develop the team, but Heikki Kovalainen can carry them now. Fernandes should have been looking at fast new talent, someone like Grosjean or Pic or van der Garde.

    1. I agree with you. Sure, there was a lot of speed left in Trulli, and the team knows him etc. All good reasons to keep him.

      But wouldn’t it be better to build up a driver for when they get the car racked up to a point where it can get points and needs a driver to capatalize on that in a few seasons?

      Maybe they are waiting for their 2 GP2 guys to get a bit more to the fore and put them in next year?

      Funny thing is, Will Buxton tweeted, there is no defenite mention of Trulli having been signed on to actually drive the car in the races in the Team Lotus announcement!

      1. Indeed, “work with” and “continue relationship” are mentioned in the press release, but there is not a single definite statement of him being a racing driver next year. He ma share the fate of his fellow Italian Fisichella.

    2. Totally agree. Jarno’s past his edge. If anything, he’s pulling Lotus behind.

      They’ve done a great job in just 1 and a half seasons. They next step is replacing the old fella with a talented young driver.

      But they didn’t do it.

  4. It’s nice to see the characters stay in F1, so good luck to him. For me, ever since the Sutil pictures incident and the constant power steering moaning, I’ve started to dislike the guy a bit… but I’m sure he’s a nice chap and makes beautiful wine.

    1. Did you mean to put an ‘h’ in ‘wine’?

      1. Bad power steering makes Trulli make beautiful whine! lol

      2. Ba dum tsh! Good work sir!

  5. I don’t think this is the right move, I’d much rather they stuck a young talented guy in the second Lotus. Jarno has been a shadow of his former self over the last 3 seasons, and i sudder to think how much development time Team Lotus lost while trying to fix his constant power steering troubles.

    Time to hang up your helmet and focus on your w(h)ine Jarno.

  6. Lucas "Mr. Veloce"
    11th September 2011, 10:59

    2009? You mean 2010? Jarno was with Toyota in ’09. I am bitterly disappointed by this, I was hoping that Kovalainen and Chandhok would make up Team Lotus in 2012.

    1. Chandhok is one of the least talented F1 drivers of the last decade. He has nowhere near the talent of Trulli.

      1. I prefer Alex Yoong in the Lotus than Karun Chandhok.

        1. Karun looked better than senna last year who is now looking at least on par with or better than petrov and heidfeld.

          Trulli is old REALLY OLD for an f1 driver only top drivers should reach that age in f1 and a top driver trulli never was. Opening his mouth only to utter the words “the power steering is not to my likeing” this year has not done him any favours either.

          It makes lotus look bad but it makes him look worse because kova didn’t like it but he was still qualifying massively ahead of trulli. Honestly it just sounded like a code lotus had agreed on to save trullis face and retire him with grace.

          What ever the case karun deserves a shot in a team where the drivers don’t have to ware asda bags on their feet to walk down the pit lane in the rain.

  7. Just a thought, but all that has been said is that his contract has been extended. But there’s no actual confirmation that he’ll be driving the car.

    For all we know, he’s still contracted to the team, but it’s in a yet to be confirmed capacity.

    1. As Will Buxton pointed out on Twitter:


      Still I’d be wary of reading between the lines on that one.

      1. I agree, normally its so obvious they would not specifically mention that.

        1. Well if it’s a contract extension and the previous one says bla de bla “as a race driver” then i guess it’s pretty water tight.

          If the previous contract is equally ambiguous then technicaly they could have him driving the team lorrys if they wanted.

  8. It would be silly to overly criticise this from an outside perspective, but I would’ve thought that other experienced drivers like Heidfeld, Klien etc. could’ve done an equally good job.

    Anyway, well done to Jarno, hopefully he can have a good year.

    1. Heidfeld might be an option but I guess that he prefers racing a top DTM car to driving in the back of the field in F1. I would like to see Lotus in the midfield next season but still don’t expect them to be there.

      1. Heidfeld doesn’t deserve an f1 drive or fans since he took a pay off to leave the sport. That is *not* the spirit of a racing driver…the likes of Chris amon and jack brabham made their own teams at great personal cost so they could race. Heidfeld takes money to leave that’s the difference between a race winner/champion and heidfeld.

  9. I think it’s the right decision. I doubt that Lotus are able to get a better driver at the moment. Trulli is too inconsistent but if the next year’s car happens to suit him, he won’t be doing much worse than Kovalainen. I don’t think that Chandhok or some rookie would be getting better results than Trulli, let alone be able to give more input in the technical development of the car.

  10. IF Trulli is to keep the race seat I’ll say it’s a mistake and a bad decision for F1 in general. I’m disappointed that not everyone shares Peter Sauber’s philosophy of driver line-up, especially among the back-end teams.

    1. Lotus is aiming to move up the field, so experienced are needed to develop.

      Not every team shares Peter Sauber’s philosophy that remaining a mediocre team for decades is just fine.

      1. Kovalainen is experienced enough to carry out the development work by himself. What Lotus also need is performance and speed on behalf of some pure racing talent. IMO, what they need most is resources, facilities and better technical staff. Look at them now – having one of the most experienced line-ups in the field they are hampered by poor reliability and general low quality of the car. Keeping Jarno will give them nothing.

        1. Then again, remember what was the key to Saubers greatest season so far – 2008? Same experience + young talent philosophy AND huge resources and technical know-how from BMW.

  11. So they want to continue building team at least until the end of 2012.

  12. I would like to thank Tony, Kamarudin and Nasa for the chance to keep working with them […]

    Isn’t it spelled Naza?

    1. NAZA is his company. his full name is SM Nasarudin.

  13. Trulli has been with the team since 2009

    Isn’t it 2010 as in ’09 he was at Toyota? Or do you mean he was signed by Lotus in late-09?

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