Trulli expecting more of the same
Nevertheless, veteran Italian is not getting carried away
Jarno Trulli is fully expecting Toyota's new lease of life to be maintained at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
The form shown by the Japanese manufacturer so far during 2008 has allowed the Italian to collect as many points from his first three races as he managed during the whole of last year.
After finishing fourth in Malaysia and sixth in the Bahrain Grand Prix three weeks ago, Trulli currently lies seventh in the drivers' standings with eight points.
Ahead of the first grand prix in Europe at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday, Trulli is elated with the performance of the team - but also anticipates more hard work if Toyota are to push the leading trio of Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes and BMW Sauber.
"I am very happy with my start to the season," he remarked.
"The new car has been strong, the team has worked really well and we have got the results we deserved.
"But I am not getting carried away because I know we must continue to work hard to stay in this position and hopefully close the gap on the top three teams.
"We had a successful test in Barcelona last week with the new package, so we should be in good shape this weekend, but the battle is so close we cannot afford any mistakes.
"I think we have proven we are leading the second group of cars at the moment, so in Spain we can expect to qualify in the top 10 and finish in the points.
"It would be great to fight for the top six again, but we'll see how it goes because we are not quite on the same level as the leading teams at the moment."
In contrast, team-mate Timo Glock has endured a tough start to his first full season in the top flight, although he is slowly starting to get to grips with Formula One.
After retiring in Australia and Malaysia, the German then came close to scoring his first point in Bahrain, where he finished ninth.
However, Glock knows he has to qualify further up the grid to have any hope of breaking his points duck - his best qualifying performance to date being 10th in Malaysia.
"My performance in Bahrain was encouraging and I am sure I could have scored a point if I had not had the small gearbox problem," he said.
"But it was good to finish a race and fight in the top 10, although I was disappointed not to make it to Q3 (top-10 qualifying) in Bahrain.
"That is my first target this weekend and then I want to challenge for points in the race.
"My two days of testing last week (in Barcelona) were very positive and the car looked good with the new aero package, so there's no reason not to be optimistic again.
"We seem to have made a good step, and I have a good feeling for this weekend."