Trulli reveals Ferrari offered him a drive

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota celebrates 2nd place with Tadashi Yamashina (JPN) Toyota F1 Chairman and Akio Toyoda (JPN) President Toyota Motor Corporation. Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday 4 October 2009. BEST IMAGE

Jarno Trulli during his days with the Toyota F1 team

Feb.22 (GMM) Jarno Trulli has revealed that he was offered a seat at Ferrari some years ago, during his days with the Toyota F1 team.

After fifteen consecutive seasons in formula one, the 37-year-old Italian has lost his Caterham race seat to the well-backed Russian Vitaly Petrov.

2004 Monaco grand prix winner Trulli, 37, drove since 1997 for Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault and Caterham’s former guise Lotus.

Writing in his New York Times blog, correspondent Brad Spurgeon said Trulli was made the Ferrari offer while he was racing for Toyota between 2005 and 2009.

Trulli reportedly told Italy’s Autosprint magazine that Ferrari team principal of the era, Jean Todt (who is now the president of the FIA ) made the offer.

“Nobody knows this, but at this point I think I can publicly thank Jean Todt for having been one of the few top team managers to consider me during my career,” he said.

“I won’t tell you when exactly — I was racing for Toyota and I was doing very well. But I had signed a rather long contract with the Japanese, and in my career I’ve always honoured my commitments.

“In 15 years of F1 I’ve never needed lawyers,” added Trulli.

Trulli left Renault for Toyota at the end of the 2004 season, driving for the carmaker until it pulled out of formula one at the end of 2009.

Rubens Barrichello left Ferrari at the end of 2005, replaced by Felipe Massa. Michael Schumacher retired a year later, replaced by Kimi Raikkonen.

At Ferrari, Frenchman Todt handed over to Domenicali at the end of 2007.