Trulli pushes for perfect qualy Monaco record

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 7 May 2010.

Jarno Trulli

May 14 (GMM) Jarno Trulli is this weekend bidding to maintain a perfect qualifying record on the streets of Monaco.

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus T127. Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday 13 May 2010.

Jarno Trulli in action during first practice day at Monaco

Since his first visit to the Principality as a formula one driver in 1997, the 35-year-old Italian has never been outqualified by the occupant of the sister car.

His conquests include Ukyo Katayama, Olivier Panis, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Ralf Schumacher and Timo Glock.

His Lotus teammate in 2010 is Heikki Kovalainen, who has so far outqualified 2004 Monaco winner Trulli on two occasions.

Finn Kovalainen told Turun Sanomat: “I will just concentrate on my own performance.”

Meanwhile Trulli has defended F1’s three new teams. At Monaco, the less competitive pace of the new Lotus, Virgin and HRT teams has been the main topic of conversation, with frontrunners worried about being held up on the short and twisty layout.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that HRT is struggling for survival, while David Coulthard insists that the sport needs “quality, not quantity”.

(L to R): Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus. Lotus T127 Launch, Royal Horticultural Halls, London, 12 February 2010.

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen

“If teams are not competitive they will not stay on the grid for long anyway as sponsorship is driven by results on track,” the Scottish veteran wrote in his Telegraph column.

But fellow veteran Trulli, who now drives a Lotus despite previously working with big teams including Renault and Toyota, insists that the new teams have a place on the grid.

“Without us, it would have seemed that F1 had just a handful of teams,” he is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper. “I would be more cautious in asserting that we are not worthy of our place in F1,” the Italian added.