It was a day that never got going for the Trulli GP team, who left the Buenos Aires ePrix with no change to their 12 point total from the Punta del Este ePrix.
The first non-qualifying practice proved to be a challenging affair with Jarno Trulli only able to take fifteenth, while team-mate Michela Cerutti was five places lower in twentieth.
The second session gave the team some solace as Trulli improved significantly to take tenth, while Cerutti struggled in ninteenth.
“I’m happy with the race set up as we had a lot of time to test that this morning so I think that will be fine,” she said. “I have a couple of things I need to improve on from my side, specially some of the corners. Second practise we trialled the quali set up and there was a lot of traffic on the track so it was difficult to get something out of it. We tested various downforce settings and have found the one we want to move forward with.”
Trulli also suffered from traffic, but felt there was potential in the car.
“I had a bit of traffic to in my fastest lap, so without this, I’m hoping to be even quicker,” he said. “Other than that, both my setups were working fine. The track is getting quicker and quicker and the grip is increasing, so it looks like we will have a good race.”
From there the weekend took a turn for the worse as qualifying saw Cerutti avoid a collision, but not the wall on her way to seventeenth. In Trulli’s case, it was his own error that caused his downfall and meant he started from the back.
Cerutti’s chances of any progress ended almost instantly, with the Italian forced into the pits after the first lap and saw her race effectively ended.
“Again I’m out of the points, which is very disappointing of course,” she said. “Spinning out already in lap one meant I quickly had to box and change car to have a chance to get some more lap times in. I feel sorry for my team who are all working very hard to make all of this happen – so I’d like to extend a very big thank you to them for this.”
Trulli however was able to make an encouraging start and looked close to the points in a chaotic race that saw the top ten change frequently. However, Trulli was unable to join the late drama, having to retire on lap 33.
“The problems and bad luck from this morning’s qualifying spin-out proved to be without end today,” he reflected. “Starting at the bottom of the grid is never easy, but we made some good progress climbing the ranks. After the car-change we made even better progress, but the luck only lastsed until lap 33 when the engine shut down and I had to box. My mechanics are having a look at the moment and will amend it in time for Miami. To sum up today, so close, yet so far.”
Trulli’s 12 points sees them to continue to struggle at the foot of the table, currently lying ninth ahead of bottom placed Venturi GP and their five points.