Jarno Trulli is rightly regarded as one of the fastest drivers in Formula 1, but there is more to the Panasonic Toyota Racing driver than his artistry behind the wheel. The Italian lives in the public eye, courtesy of his success in motorsport, but Jarno enjoys success off the track as well as on it, with a young family and a growing wine business.
Jarno’s first passion is motorsport and he has devoted his life to his art. His supreme pace over one lap is legendary in Formula 1, but he is also a committed racer who has helped Panasonic Toyota Racing move closer to the front.
After a rapid rise through junior racing, Jarno made his Formula 1 debut as a fresh-faced – and fearsomely fast – youngster, after being inspired to aim for the top as a small boy. He explains: “I was four of five, quite young and a Formula 1 car arrived in my home time as part of a show, it was standing there and obviously I just wanted to touch it and sit on it. That was my first contact with Formula 1.
“My Formula 1 career started pretty young, when I was 22, at the Minardi team back in 1997. That was good because for the first time I drove a Formula 1 car in a Grand Prix race in Australia and that was a great moment.”
Since then, Jarno has spent a decade at the top of his game, tasting the joy of victory, as well as several pole and podium positions. He has also experienced fulfilment away from the race track, with his young family of wife Barbara and sons Enzo (two) and Marco (10 months).
A happy home life is the perfect escape from the hectic Formula 1 lifestyle, and Jarno winds down by relaxing with his family in their home in St Moritz , Switzerland.
“It is very important because obviously when you come back from racing or testing I want to relax and sit with my family,” Jarno says. “When you first get back, it is always difficult because there is jet lag and a lot of things to sort out but it is important to spend time with your family.
“I think I just see the life in a different way. We all have different personalities and having a family doesn’t really change you too much, but you do understand a bit more about certain things.”
With a young family of his own, Jarno is conscious of the needs of others, in particular children, and he has leant his support to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. In 2004 he took part in a television campaign, urging people to support the charity, which fights hunger throughout the world. Jarno has a simple message: “Join the team, give to the World Food Programme.”
For Jarno, family life also extends to his other business – wine. He adds: “My region is rich in vineyards, we have a long culture and passion for wine. Together with my father we started the old business of my grandfather. It is very different from Formula 1 and I am enjoying it.
“For us it’s a completely natural thing to do. When my father suggested we do something away from racing I thought ‘why not do that?’ It just made sense. We bought some land and we started the business together with some close friends.”
|In 2000, Jarno bought the vineyard in the Podere Castorani region of Italy . Although racing keeps Jarno away from the day-to-day running of his vineyard, the 33-year-old has trusted help in the shape of his father Enzo. Together, they have expanded production from around 18,000 bottles a year, to an impressive 600,000, and like the man who lends his name to the best bottle, it travels far and wide. |
“The year 2000 vintage was our first season,” Jarno says. “It was also a really good season. It was strange for me to drink a bottle of my own wine but I was happy because it was produced from my land and my passion.
“It is a really good feeling, especially when people appreciate the wine. In the beginning I was very careful and tried not to get carried away but now when I hear people say it is a good product I am very proud. It is great because when I travel around the world to Australia , or to Canada and many other places I find my wine!”
Jarno is a man of many passions and he has not lost track of his roots in motorsport. Karting is a discipline which sets many a racer on the road to Formula 1 glory, Jarno included, and nowadays many youngsters start their career in a Trulli kart, courtesy of Jarno’s own business.
Jarno’s primary passion remains Formula 1 and, like wine producing, that requires every element in the process to work in perfect unison. As a committed team player, Jarno knows the important role his hard-working mechanics play in his own success, saying: “It is a strong relationship between a driver and his mechanics. Don’t forget that our life is in their hands.
“They work very hard on my car, they make very few mistakes and they have done a good job. There is a strong relationship between us. I must admit I see them during the season more than my family because we spend more time together. We get on well, sometimes we go out for dinner, we laugh, we smile and sometimes we cry together but that is part of the job.”