Enzo Trulli ‘was working really hard to do Euroformula’ before FIA F3 move in 2022

Enzo Trulli achieved a remarkable feat in January 2021 by winning in his first start in cars in the F4 UAE Championship. He took the F4 UAE title in February, and a year later, he was lining himself up for a season in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with Carlin. But as Trulli explained to F1 Feeder Series ahead of the fifth round of the season, the tumultuous year in between put him on the path toward making his F3 début much sooner than he expected.

By Michael McClure

Trulli, the older son of Formula 1 race winner Jarno Trulli, beat Dilano Van’t Hoff by just one point to the F4 UAE crown, taking four wins and 13 podiums from 20 races. He had planned to carry his momentum from the wintertime series into a campaign with the Drivex team in the Spanish F4 Championship, which Van’t Hoff eventually won.

Circumstances changed, and Trulli instead jumped up to Euroformula Open with Drivex for the 2021 season before leaving the team entirely and moving to Carlin midway through the season. He ended the year seventh in the standings, with four third-place finishes as his best results.

An unexpected début

Speaking to F1 Feeder Series at a media session Thursday, Trulli revealed that he was initially set to continue in Euroformula for 2022 with reigning teams’ champions Motopark, with whom he had tested over the winter. But everything changed when he received a call from Carlin, who had a late vacancy in their F3 line-up.

“The plan was to do Euroformula since the end of last year because [of] the budget that I have,” Trulli said. “We had a good testing with Motopark. The plan was to do [Euroformula] with Motopark.

“Carlin needed a driver for FIA F3. They called me, and we had a good deal. In the morning, I was working on the simulator at home, and then in the afternoon, they tell me that we’re going to race in FIA F3. So for me, it was a bit confusing.

“I was happy to race here because it’s a bigger championship, it’s everything better, but I was working really hard to do Euroformula. So it was a bit [of] confusion at the beginning.”

I was working on the simulator at home, and then in the afternoon, they tell me that we’re going to race in FIA F3.

Enzo Trulli (Carlin)

Racing older drivers

Even off the back of his Euroformula season in 2021, Trulli’s step into F3 was a big one for a driver who had started only 40 races in single-seaters. He didn’t compete in any winter championships in 2022, meaning he arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit as one of the youngest and least experienced drivers in the field.

“It’s very difficult when you come to racing with people who are older than you. They have more experience. That, for me, was really difficult on the beginning, also now, because the plan wasn’t to do this category.

“When they tell me, ‘You will race in FIA F3’, it was a big challenge because the car is different from the one I drove last year. It’s everything different, so I had to adapt on this driving style on this car. I’m still not really good with the feeling of the car. I’m improving race by race.”

Leaning on O’Sullivan’s experience

Trulli makes up one-third of an all-rookie line-up at Carlin alongside Brad Benavides and Zak O’Sullivan. Neither Trulli nor Benavides, who is similarly inexperienced, has scored points, but O’Sullivan has impressed this season, taking pole position in Qualifying and a second place in the Feature Race at last weekend’s Silverstone round.

Trulli told F1 Feeder Series that he had leaned on O’Sullivan’s prior circuit experience, which consists of three seasons in the United Kingdom in Ginettas and single-seaters, to help him develop.

“All the tracks like Silverstone and Hungaroring, I’ve never been there, I’ve never tested there, so it was really difficult. But for sure I had two good teammates. There is Zak – he has a lot of experience, so I’m trying to learn from him and just keep improving every single race.”

At Silverstone, Trulli qualified only 26th for the two races, but he took his best result yet with 17th in the Feature Race. He’ll be looking to improve more and move up from 32nd in the standings this weekend at the Red Bull Ring, where F3 hosts its fifth round.

Header photo credit: Carlin

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