MILAN (Reuters) - Italian Jarno Trulli said on Wednesday he was sure to be in Formula One next year, even if Team Lotus have yet to confirm a contract extension.
“I am pretty comfortable for next year,” the driver told Reuters at an event for fans organised by the teams association FOTA ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
“Obviously it is not down to me to say where we are but, yes I am pretty happy with the way we are working with the team and the relationship for the future. I would say that we are settled.”
Asked whether he would stay in F1, he replied: “Yes.”
Trulli made way for Indian Karun Chandhok at the German Grand Prix, and the 37-year-old may well step down again for India next month, but team owner Tony Fernandes said at the time that Team Lotus were “in the process of negotiating an extension to his contract.”
The Italian has suffered with the car’s handling this season and did not seem particularly upset to be replaced for Germany, the last race before a new power steering system was introduced.
Team Lotus did not run it at Spa last month for technical reasons but Trulli looked forward to the remaining seven races of the year.
“There was a big step forward for me with the power steering (in Hungary) and it definitely made a huge difference for me,” he said at the event at tyre maker Pirelli’s Milan headquarters.
“It will be back here and from now on we can start developing it.”
Malaysian-owned Team Lotus have yet to score a point since their debut last year but Trulli did not rule out the possibility before the end of the season.
“We need to keep our game up until the end...we know it is hard for us to score points but we need to be ready to get an advantage out of a crazy race,” he said. “It can happen, it’s always around the corner.
“I think the introduction of KERS (at Team Lotus) next year will be a big step forward,” added the Italian. “It’s going to give us quite a good boost.”
Editing by Clare Fallon