Team Lotus confirm they will keep Jarno Trulli for 2012
Anglo-Malaysian outfit confirm they have extended the 37-year-old's contract into a third season
Jarno Trulli will continue for Team Lotus in 2012 after the team confirmed it has extended the Italian’s contract into a third season ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The 37-year-old has been with the Anglo-Malaysian outfit since they arrived in Formula 1 at the end of 2009.
He joined the team from Toyota after the Japanese manufacturer withdrew from the sport late in 2009, and along with team-mate Heikki Kovalainen has worked hard to close the gap to the more established sides in their first-season-and-a-half in the sport, with Kovalainen reaching Q2 on several occasions this year.
Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes, said: “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.”
Speaking about his extension, Trulli said: “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.”
Trulli’s drive had been under threat, with Lotus also having Karun Chandhok on their books, but they are expected to remain unchanged for 2012 with an announcement expected to confirm Kovalainen’s position with the team in the coming weeks.