Good news for one veteran Formula One driver at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend. Jarno Trulli has signed an one-year extension to his contract at Team Lotus. Many were wondering if the Monaco-winner in 2004 would hang his helmet up at the end of this season but the 37-year-old has decided to keep going in 2012.
Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus Team Principal, gave his thoughts on Jarno's extended relationship with the team:
"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. He has shown in qualifying in Monza just how much pace he has and how he can wring every last drop of performance out of his car and since day one with us he has brought a level of professionalism, insight and raw speed to our team that has helped accelerate our development on and off track. Today's announcement will give us the benefit of his experience and knowledge into 2012, another very important year in the growth of our team."
Jarno added his comments, saying:
"I am very pleased that we have been able to confirm today that my contract with Team Lotus has been extended into 2012. The challenge I first accepted when I joined the team is becoming more exciting every day, and I am very proud that I can keep helping the team take steps forward for at least another year. I would like to thank Tony, Kamarudin and Nasa for the chance to keep working with them, Riad, Mike and the whole team and I am looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead."
The team are intent to raise their game even further in 2012 and while they patently own the "best of the new teams" mantra, the word from team boss Tony Fernandes is that next year will be a big jump in performance or heads will roll.
Some fans would like to see a young driver in the Trulli seat in order to prepare them for the series if and when Team Lotus finds its sea legs but until that time comes, it's better to stick with what you know instead of throwing a young driver at a situation that is continuously changing. Veteran Trulli and his experienced teammate Heikki Kovalainen have done a decent job of placing the car in its best possible finishing position in 2011.