Team Lotus has announced today that it has re-signed veteran driver Jarno Trulli, with the Italian set to remain with the Hingham-based team for a third straight season.
Trulli, now 37, made his F1 debut in 1997 as a 22-year-old with Minardi, before switching teams mid-season to Prost, where he replaced the injured Olivier Panis.
The Italian sensationally led the Austrian Grand Prix, being in contention for a shock win until his engine packed it in.
A known qualifying specialist, he has since seen out stints at Jordan, Renault and Toyota before joining Team Lotus in 2010.
The Pescara-born driver’s sole race win came at the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix.
This season has seen a decidedly underwhelming Trulli struggle in the T128 with an apparent steering issue, which has finally been resolved at the Hungarian Grand Prix when a new power steering unit was fitted to the car.
Trulli sat out July’s German Grand Prix and was replaced by Karun Chandhok, sparking rumours that he would finally call time on his F1 career.
“We are all delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement to keep Jarno on board for at least one more year with our team,” Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes said today.
On the basis of his form and an apparent lack of motivation, Team Lotus’ decision not to plump for a younger, hungrier driver is certainly curious…
[Image via The Cahier Archive]