TOYOTA’s Jarno Trulli held off a charging Lewis Hamilton of McLaren to clinch a deserving fourth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday.
Despite failing to get anywhere near the top three finishers, the Italian had good reasons to be pleased with the outcome.
Trulli not just put Toyota on the point standings for the first time this season but the five points gained is already more than half his total last year. Trulli finished 13th overall last season on eight points.
Trulli, who is one of four drivers to have competed in all the races at Sepang since the inaugural Malaysian GP in 1999, was delighted with his efforts despite sliding off a little bit at the start of the race yesterday.
“It’s nice to be among the points in such a strong race. I’m especially happy for the team both here and in Cologne (the team’s base),” said Trulli, who has one GP win under his belt.
“This result is mainly down to their work over the winter and I dedicate it to them. I had a difficult first corner when I lost grip, ran wide and touched Nick Heidfeld, losing a bit of ground. But after that I was able to keep up with the McLarens.”
He felt the team did good jobs at the pit-stops and they contributed to the end result.
“At the end, it was a great fight with Hamilton. We were pushing each other hard. He was obviously slightly quicker than me but I gave 100% and thanks to the team’s good job, we took fourth.
“I just hope we can carry on improving the performance of the car because as I mentioned at the end of winter testing, we are looking strong,” said Trulli.
It was, however, an unfortunate outcome for team-mate and F1 rookie Timo Glock. The German’s debut outing in the Malaysian GP ended early after he was hit from behind by William’s Nico Rosberg on the first lap.