ITALIAN Jarno Trulli is confident that he will have the second start of the season for Lotus F1 Racing at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Sunday.
Trulli’s car had hydraulic problems at the Australian GP last week and did not get on the grid for the championships’ second round race.
Trulli said the team had identified the problem and it should be fixed in time for the qualifying round tomorrow. But he warned against expecting too much from him in the Malaysia-backed side’s home GP.
The Malaysian GP is the third round of a 19-stop world championships. Besides Trulli, Lotus Racing have Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen as their other driver.
In the season-opening round in Bahrain, Kovalainen finished in 15th spot and Trulli was placed 17th. And in Melbourne last Sunday, Kovalainen brought home the T127 in 13th place.
Trulli said that it would take some time before the car showed any big improvement and it is expected when the races were held in Europe.
“I think the team had done a very good job. Operationally, we are extremely experienced as there are a lot of experienced people who are also professional,” he said.
“And the pit stops, race preparation, race weekend, all went pretty smoothly in the earlier races.
“We had some little mechanical problems, but nothing really major. The last 10 laps in Bahrain were difficult for me as I lost the hydraulics but I managed to finish the race.
“And Melbourne was a non-starter. I hope to see that being resolved and be at the grid in Sepang.”
Trulli added that he enjoyed the Sepang circuit and felt elated that it would be Lotus’ first race at home.
“There is a lot more buzz this time as there are more people looking at us and wondering if we are really competitive yet,” he said.
“The Sepang track is remarkable and I have enjoyed driving on it. I also hope it will be hot as that will really allow me to push the car without having to worry about the tyres in the event it is wet.
“Overall we want to see consistency in the car and not to be unduly worried about the current leaders.”