Jarno Trulli extends F1 Team Lotus contract

Jarno Trulli will drive for Team Lotus in 2012 after the team extended the Italian's contract.

The team want the experienced 37-year-old to help them achieve their target of becoming a midfield team.

"The challenge I first accepted when I joined the team is becoming more exciting," said Trulli. "I can help the team to take steps forward for at least another year."

Team Lotus are also set to keep Finn Heikki Kovalainen.

Trulli was replaced by Indian reserve Karun Chandhok for the German Grand Prix weekend  .

But the Italian's decision to sign up for a 17th season in Formula 1 has ended speculation that his place in the team was under threat.

Jarno Trulli career stats

  • Team: Team Lotus
  • Races: 249 (245 starts)
  • Wins: 1
  • Podiums: 11
  • Pole positions: 4
  • First race: 1997 Australian Grand Prix
  • Only win: 2004 Monaco Grand Prix
  • 2010 position: 21st (0 pts)

"We are all delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement to keep Jarno on board for at least one more year with our team," said owner Tony Fernandes.

"Since day one with us he has brought a level of professionalism, insight and raw speed to our team that has helped accelerate our development on and off track.

"The announcement will give us the benefit of his experience and knowledge into 2012, another very important year in the growth of our team."

Trulli joined Team Lotus from Toyota  , who left the sport at the end of 2009, and has one victory to his name, winning in Monaco in 2004  .

Team Lotus made their debut in arrived in F1 in 2010  and have established themselves as the most consistent of the three new teams but the team's ambition is to be a regular midfield runner by 2012.