Jarno Trulli drove magnificantly to take second place away from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in the Japanese Grand Prix.
Trulli was able to jump Hamilton during the final round of pitstops and later revealed that he had to put in a number of “qualifying” laps to overcome the McLaren.
Trulli drove the sole Toyota in the field after Timo Glock could not take part.
Jarno Trulli – 2nd: “Standing on the podium in the team’s home Grand Prix is a fantastic feeling and this great result is down to the whole team; the engineers, mechanics and everyone, including Timo. We work really well together as part of a great team and it’s a pity he wasn’t able to race today. The car, with the new package, has been really competitive all weekend and I knew the start was likely to be the toughest point of the race. We made a strong start and I almost held my position, but Lewis got by and after that I spent the whole race fighting with him.
“I closed the gap and just focused on doing qualifying laps every time; it was fantastic fun and I really enjoyed it. It was not easy to push so hard but I kept fighting and after the first pit stops I was again chasing Lewis really closely. It was just a matter of putting as much pressure on as possible and, thanks to the team for the strategy and fast pit work, we got him at the last stop. From then on I pulled away and it was reasonably comfortable, even with the safety car at the end. I want to thank the team; we came here after Timo’s great second place in Singapore and again the car was competitive immediately. I really hoped to win but this was the maximum we could achieve and I am extremely happy to be on the podium in Japan.”
Tadashi Yamashina – Team Principal: “Jarno did a brilliant job today with the only Toyota in the race. It’s great to get a result like this in our home Grand Prix; we really appreciate our partners and fans so I hope they enjoyed our performance. It’s unfortunate Timo couldn’t join him in the race because I am sure he would have also had a very strong result but I am very happy with Jarno’s podium. The strategy worked perfectly so, thanks to the efforts of Jarno and the team, we got past Hamilton after the second pit stop. Two second places in a row is a credit to the team, who have fought so hard all through the season; they deserve this result. There are still two more races left so we will immediately begin preparations for those and I hope Timo and Jarno will again stand on the podium this season.”