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Jarno Trulli hopes son Enzo can race in Japan long-term

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli says he hopes his son Enzo can go on to have a successful career in Japanese racing after embarking on his first season in Super Formula Lights.

Enzo Trulli, Jarno Trulli, TOM'S

Enzo, 18, was confirmed as part of the title-winning TOM'S squad for the 2023 Lights season in February after travelling to Japan for his first test outing with the Toyota-affiliated squad in January.

The Italian driver finally made his race debut in last weekend's Autopolis opener, but a lack of track knowledge and two days of practice being held in the rain prior to qualifying and the races taking place in the dry made the weekend a tough baptism of fire.

He finally scored a point for sixth place in the third and final race of the weekend, having finished seventh in the first two races.

Jarno, who spent five seasons as a Toyota F1 driver in 2005-09, was present to witness his son's Japanese racing debut, and is hoping to see him eventually make the step up to Super Formula and SUPER GT with TOM'S.

"It’s fantastic that Enzo has a chance to drive for TOM’S, which is the best team here in Super Formula Lights, but also in Super Formula and other races here in Japan," the elder Trulli told Motorsport.com.

"Also it’s nice because I was supposed to race for them a long time ago back in the 90s, but it didn’t happen. 

"Japan is a completely different world to Europe, and I love it. Our aim since the beginning was to come to Japan because I knew how passionate the people are about motorsport. And if you are able to step up and do Super Formula and SUPER GT, it’s simply amazing.

"I’ll be very happy if Enzo stays here, learns here, and becomes professional here."

Enzo Trulli, TOM'S

Enzo Trulli, TOM'S

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Enzo only has two full seasons of car in racing under his belt, having raced in the F4 UAE Championship and Euroformula Open in 2021, before stepping up to FIA F3 last year with the Carlin team, albeit not scoring points.

Considering his son's relative lack of experience, Trulli called 2023 a "learning year" for Enzo, and is trying to use his own vast experience to help his son be competitive as quickly as possible.

"I try to help him understand how to approach the weekend, analysing the data, watching the [on-board] video, to speed up the learning curve," said the one-time grand prix winner. 

"Another point is that in Japan there is a different way of working compared to Europe, and you have to adapt to the culture. This is fundamental for him if he wants to carry on here.

"But I think Enzo is happy and he’s quite confident with the people around him, so let’s see. I’m sure the more he runs, the better his feeling will be with the car and with the team and that he will improve."

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