Liuzzi’s confirmation means there will be three home drivers racing in this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Liuzzi made his debut for Red Bull in 2005 in an unusual seat-share deal with Christian Klien. The Italian got the lesser end of the deal, starting just four races (Klien got 15) but scored a point for eighth on his debut at Imola following the disqualification of the two BARs.
He moved up to a full-time drive with Toro Rosso in 2006, partnering American Scott Speed.
He remained at the team for 2007 but much of his season was spoiled by unreliability. In the second half of the year he was out-shone by new team mate Sebastian Vettel. Liuzzi did manage a strong sixth in the rain at Shanghai – problem was, Vettel finished fourth.
Liuzzi’s place in the team in 2008 was taken by Sebastien Bourdais. The French driver later fell out of favour and was in turn dropped earlier this year.
Liuzzi has been Force India’s third driver since 2008 and was expected to get a race seat in 2010. He last drove the VJM02 at Kemble four days ago.
His call-up gives him a precious opportunity to make a case for the team to retain him next year, particularly when there are well-funded drivers like Vitaly Petrov shopping for a seat. The team have not confirmed whether he will remain in the car for the rest of the season.
He acknowledged is return to the cockpit owed a lot to Felipe Massa’s misfortune:
Although it’s unfortunate that this came about as an direct result of Felipe’s accident, this is my opportunity to show people what I can do and I’m really looking forward to it.
Liuzzi won the final Formula 3000 championship in 2004 and has an impressive karting CV. Big things were expected from him on his F1 debut, and some suspect his failure to deliver them is more the fault of Toro Rosso’s management than Liuzzi’s shortcomings.
Can he prove them right? How do you think he will fare alongside Adrian Sutil? Have your say in the comments.
Read more: Vitantonio Liuzzi biography
Vitantonio Liuzzi’s F1 career in pictures
Images (C) Red Bull/GEPA, Force India F1 Team