Thursday August 23rd, 2001
The Benetton-Renault team confirmed on Thursday morning that Jarno Trulli will join them from Jordan for the 2002 season, and the Italian driver admitted he was happy to drive for them.
After Wednesday's news that Benetton driver Giancarlo Fisichella had signed a three-year deal to drive for Jordan from next season, Benetton have responded by signing Trulli. Italian Trulli is contracted to Renault, who will takeover the Benetton team from next season and the move is not a surprise.
"I feel very happy and honoured that a big team with a winning history and an innovative technical programme have chosen to invest in me," said Trulli, who did not confirm the length of his contract.
"With Renault I know I will be rapidly able to compete among the best and I sincerely hope to contribute to their ultimate success."
Trulli had agreed a deal to stay at Jordan for next season and then move on to Renault in 2003, but the French company always had the last say on any deal and have decided to take up their option on Trulli at the first opportunity. Benetton-Renault managing director Flavio Briatore said: "I am delighted that Jarno will be driving for us next year.
"We all know how motivated and competitive he is and I am sure he will be a major asset for the team. Jarno hasn't been able to show his full potential until now but I believe that our ambitious programme for the future will give a great boost to his career."
Trulli, 27, started his Formula One career with Minardi in 1997 before joining Prost later that year and staying at the French team until 1999, when he joined Jordan. He has never won a Grand Prix and his best Championship finish was 10th last year with six points.
Published at 08:33:31 GMT