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Trulli joins Toyota
September 16, 2004 13:15 IST
Jarno Trulli will drive for Toyota next season, the Formula One team announced on Thursday.
Toyota said the Italian, winner of this year's Monaco Grand Prix for Renault, had signed a two-year contract and will have his first test of the team's Formula One car at Silverstone later on Thursday.
There was no word about whether he might drive for the team before the end of the season.
Trulli, one of only four drivers to have won a race this season, left Renault by mutual agreement this week and next year will partner Germany's Ralf Schumacher, who is joining from Williams.
"It's no secret that we have been speaking with Jarno Trulli for some time about the possibility for him to join (Toyota)," said team boss Tsutomu Tomita in a statement.
"But contrary to recent reports we have only finalised contractual details this week.
"Jarno has really shown his maturity and all-round talent this season, both in qualifying and in races, and we believe that he will be the perfect team mate for Ralf."
Tomita emphasised that there would be no 'driver orders', with both men enjoying equal treatment and status.
He said Brazilian Ricardo Zonta, who replaced departed compatriot Cristiano da Matta in the driver line-up last month, would continue with the team as a Friday test and reserve driver next season.
French veteran Olivier Panis, retiring from racing, will also stay in 2005 to help with testing.
"I think that Toyota will have one of the strongest driver line-ups in Formula One for next season," said Tomita.
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