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Ferrari favourites next year: Trulli
November 08, 2006 16:58 IST
Ferrari will start next season as favourites for the Formula One title despite Michael Schumacher's retirement, according to Toyota's Jarno Trulli.
"Whoever drives for them will have a big advantage," the Italian told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper on Tuesday.
"I don't think the departure of Schumacher or (technical director Ross) Brawn will change much.
"Even (Felipe) Massa can win with the current Ferrari."
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen is moving from McLaren to take the place of seven-times world champion Schumacher, who retired last month after a record 91 wins.
Raikkonen joins Brazilian Felipe Massa, winner of his home season-ending Grand Prix at Interlagos, while Renault's double world champion Fernando Alonso has taken Raikkonen's place at McLaren.
Trulli, whose only win was with Renault in 2004 when he was team mate to Spaniard Alonso, said he is desperate to get back on the podium after a disappointing 2006.
The most improved team of 2005, when they finished fourth with 88 points, Toyota scored just 35 points in 2006 and finished a disappointing sixth.
"We suffered from the switch from Michelin tyres to Bridgestone," said Trulli, who signed a new three-year contract this season. "And then there were reliability problems.
"I believe in Toyota's potential but we need to quicken our step. And I hope that the birth of my son Marco marks a turnaround in my own fortunes," he added, referring to the recent birth of his second child.
"I'm desperate to get on the podium."
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