Trulli only Italian flying the flag in Formula 1

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Caterham. Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain, Thursday 9 February 2012.
Jarno Trulli

Feb.13 (GMM) Formula 1’s Italian contingent is clinging to small comforts ahead of the 2012 world championship season.

With Italy once occupying large chunks of grand prix grids, veteran Jarno Trulli is now the last Italian driver in formula one.

And according to persistent speculation in the Jerez paddock last week, his seat at Caterham could be snapped up at the last minute by Vitaly Petrov, who is waiting on his Russian sponsors to green-light the deal.

But a report in Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport said Saturday was a small piece of good news for Trulli, 37.

With the bulk of the F1 world leaving Jerez after Friday’s running, Caterham stuck around for an additional day of exclusive track use for filming purposes.

The result of the filming will be used by Caterham’s marketing and promotional material throughout 2012.

Trulli was there, the report revealed.

“It is good news because it could mean that the seat of the driver from Pescara is safe, thus ensuring at least one Italian driver in the championship,” said La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Although teammate Heikki Kovalainen enjoyed two days at the wheel of the new CT01 compared to Trulli’s single run last Friday, the Italian said his first impression is that the car is a “definite progression” on last year.

“The power steering is good — we can keep fine tuning it, but I think it’s basically a good package with a lot of potential for us to work on,” said Trulli.