Lotus: Trulli Was Always No 1 on Our List

Lotus F1 Team's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne admitted that getting Jarno Trulli to sign a deal with the Malaysian-backed team was always his aim for the 2010 campaign. We're not sure if that's bad news for Heikki Kovalainen in terms of driver's status within the team, but considering the fact that neither of the two racers will be battling for the world title this year, we'd be inclined to think otherwise.

Experience was obviously the first thing that popped into Gascoyne's mind when being appointed in his position at Lotus, as Toyota's withdrawal from the series at the end of 2009 arose the perfect opportunity to get one of the drivers with whom he most pleasantly worked with in recent years, namely Jarno Trulli.

Back when Gascoyne was working for Toyota, the Italian impressed everybody at Cologne with his incredible pace in qualifying. And that stayed on the Brit's mind, as he made it very clear to team principal Tony Fernandes that signing the Italian is top priority.

To be honest, he was always number one on the list - that was from my point of view and also from Tony (Fernandes)'. The whole driver choice was interesting because we had three groups of drivers and I very much wanted to get two experienced drivers in because, as a new team, you need that experience to provide a platform,” said Gascoyne, according to

We had a sort of group of experienced drivers with current teams we thought might be available and approachable, and we hoped we might get one of them, then we looked at some guys who had a couple of years of experience, then GP2 drivers and new drivers - but Jarno was top of our list,” added the Lotus CEO.

I think we get on well personally, there's a lot of mutual respect, but I think the one thing, over my career, about Jarno is that, over one lap, he is the quickest guy I have ever worked with. I think that is invaluable for any team, but especially for a new team, where you are struggling to find your feet, to have a guy who is experienced and controlled.”

“Working with Jarno, the one thing he gives me is that, on a Saturday, I know the job I have got to do, because that car has gone as quick as it can go. If we are two seconds off pole position, my car needs to go two seconds quicker. Simple
,” concluded Gascoyne.
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