“It’s always been tough for me” – Liuzzi

2011 F1 season

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Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, 2011

Vitantonio Liuzzi said he’s not worried about driving for HRT in 2011 having been dropped by Force India.

Speaking to reporters in Barcelona he said: “A lot goes through a driver’s head and for me, all I want to do is drive fast. When this stopped with my previous team, I put all my cards on the table and looked at which was the best condition.

“After my test with Hispania two weeks ago, the situation was promising. That was one of things that made my mind closer to the decision. When you are from the outside you don’t know exactly what’s in the team but the test opened my mind."

"We all know when you come into F1, it’s not easy if you jump into a McLaren or a Red Bull. It’s always been tough for me starting with new teams.

“It never worries or scares me, I always have the development and I help push things forward. This is about trust with yourself and I am good with that. I have always dreamed about F1 since I was a child, so I want to have the chance to show what I can do. It’s just a new part of your life, a new part of your career. I will keep pushing until I get there.”

The F111 is due to run for the first time tomorrow. Liuzzi says the car looks “promising” so far:

"At the moment it’s a question mark. Until we put the car on the ground we won’t know.

“I think all the numbers in the factory are promising for a good start for sure. We have to work very hard in the next few days to be able to understand the car. Last year the car was very reliable, it was just the speed.

“The early signs are that we are much quicker than last year so we have to hope that reliability can also match the speed performance. There are some people in the team who understand a lot about F1. It looks promising but we have to work twice as hard at the beginning, over the next two to three weeks.

“We know the gearbox is supported by Williams and the engine is Cosworth but it’s just how all the parts work together. I think it won’t be easy but I think the people in the car know what they are doing.”

According to Liuzzi he was “really close to finding an agreement” with Force India but they decided they would not be retaining him at the start of the year:

“I started talking to Hispania about this project in January as that’s when I know it was over for me at Force India.

“There was always a lot of respect. It was an easy conversation, just finding a way to make things work. They pushed for me and made an investment in me. I think it was easy for both.

"During the winter I never believed anything would happen with me at Force India. We had to move quickly in January.

“I’m really happy about this situation. It will be hard at the beginning as you have to start from little. The team is new but the project for the future is interesting. I am looking forward to a challenge. I like tough things, I have done this already. I started with Red Bull at the beginning for their first year and same with Force India."

Liuzzi said new team mate Narain Karthikeyan is “well known as a fast driver.”

“He has done a lot of series and he is always jumping from car to car. He’s a very versatile driver and I have known him since 2003 in my times of 2003. We have a good relationship. We are a good combination.

“I will have to push more in the development as for him it will be more difficult with a longer time away from F1. He has the speed to push me to the maximum so we can both push each other to the limit. I bring everything I can, my skill, my speed, my technical potential, so I will try to do the best I can. I’m sure Narain will try to do the same.”

Update: Part of this article has been edited. See this comment for details.

Quotes and additional reporting by Leandra Graves

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on ““It’s always been tough for me” – Liuzzi”

  1. seems to be an underlying dig at Lewis and Vettel there; he neglects to mention that their immediate arrival at superior teams may have a tiny bit to do with the fact that they are far superior drivers

    1. Well, Liuzzi pretty much cleaned up in the junior formulae, perhaps to a greater extent even than Hamilton or Vettel. If Red Bull’s F1 project had started a few years earlier (or Tonio had been a few years younger) Liuzzi could have got his F1 break in a top team too.

      1. Its not like Liuzzi would have accomplished much even if he did get a top drive. He has never really proved himself with any of his previous F1 teams.

      2. I agree, he could have profited instead of getting the wacky seat sharing thing with Klien and the not too functional stint at STR.

        1. He was at Toro Rosso until 2007, then in 2008 the car was fantastic (thanks also to Vettel) and he wasn’t there.

    2. yup sounds like sour grapes mixed with a very selective grasp of history….

      Didn’t Vettel win a race in a back marker team before moving to Red Bull… I could have sworn he started racing a season and a bit before he got into a Red Bull…

      Didn’t Lewis do more than keep a double world champion honest in his rookie season?

      Haven’t any number of drivers been given a great car and failed to maximise their performance, rookies or not….

      1. For Vettel, perhaps that is the case

        But for Hamilton, you cannot disagree that he got a good car from the start
        Yes, he did prove himself in his first season, but did not prove himself in F1 that he should get the good car in the first place.

        1. He proved he was worthy of the good car by outperforming a double world champion. End of.

          1. He never outperformed a double world champion, at best he was equal to Alonso

          2. He took 6 pole positions to Alonso’s 2, and spent most of the season ahead in the championship before finishing ahead as well. Outperformed.

          3. well he did beat him- it was the slimmest of victories but he still beat him and but for the shambles of the last two races it would have been by more

        2. he was good enough to convince McLaren to give him a drive… I would also point out that McLaren and Alonso weren’t expecting to be challenging for the titles that season… and yet they were.

          Plenty of drivers have entered F1 driving competitive cars and have failed to impress, Alonso has also had more than his fair share of rookie team mates, as well as some more experienced ones… and not one of them apart from Lewis has risen to give him the challenge that he faced against Lewis in Lewis’ rookie season.

          So whilst I agree with the facts that Lewis was ‘lucky’ to get such a good seat for his F1 début, I just wish that people would extend that to consider how well he did in comparison to comparable rookies.

          1. he deserved the seat clearly, cos his performances backed it up massively.

            but it was his attitude to it all that others didnt like. he come across like he knew it all. when he really is still learning. thankfully his attitude is much better now.

            as for the fernando thing. they finished equal. and lewis hasnt been as consistent as that since that season. so tho a rookie, it was by far his best season.

            but back to HRT. i like Liuzzi but Klien is the better driver.

          2. I strongly disagree, I think the only thing Hamilton has been doing is getting better.

      2. Indeed, my heart bleeds!!

      3. I’d hardly call the 2008 STR car a backmarker. For all practical purposes it was an RB4 with a Ferrari engine. And the engine freeze meant the STR3 was better suited to Monza than the RB4. Also don’t forget STR outscored RBR in 2008.

        No doubt Vettel has loads of talent, but he was also very lucky to land in a Ferrari-engined, Newey-designed car. Liuzzi missed that opportunity by a year only.

        1. Craig Woollard
          10th March 2011, 18:50

          Vettel 35
          Bourdais 4

          Without Vettel’s points, Toro Rosso would have been miles behind Red Bull. Remember the senior team gets the best team members, most of Toro Rosso consists of former Minardi workers.

        2. Liuzzi spent the whole season in the Toro Rosso and got outscored by Vettel who did roughly half a season.

    3. I’m sorry but that is rubbish:

      – starts Ferrari: CHAMPION

      – starts Brawn**: CHAMPION
      – starts Mclaren: takes wins, runs Hamilton close.

      – starts Mclaren: Championship Runner Up.

      – starts RBR: Championship Runner Up

      – starts Mclaren: Championship Runner Up.
      – starts Ferrari: Championship Runner Up.

      The best drivers can cope at new teams, adaptability is surely a key attribute in F1
      – it’s essential.
      **Brawn was a new constuctor, albeit the same setup, team members ect as the old Honda team.

      1. Who were you arguing with?

  2. Do you think that he´s serious about what he said? I don´t think so. Last year the HRT wasn´t reliable at all. And this year it will not be fast. I also think that he´s not happy at all being dropped by Force India and coming to a backmarker team like HRT. All his statements here sound like PR bla bla

    1. But I would believe it was one of the few teams actually having a car that is a lot faster on their hands.

    2. you are incorrect, although painfully slow HRT finished ahead of virgin because of better reliability. an achievement that is even more impressive when you consider that they did zero testing and had very poor drivers

  3. Why is it so hard for some drivers to face the fact that LEWIS HAMILTON IS BETTER THAN THEM ALL TOGETHER? he doesn’t need to be an inferior car because he has shown he worth it in other categories.. JESUS CHRIST!!

    1. I am sure that now you have stated it in capitals ;-)

    2. The caps lock really makes your argument shine, there.

    3. Thought this would be a nice place to state that not all Lewis Hamilton fans (myself included) think as objectively as this $:)

      1. Yeah, it’s a case of the 99% of Hamilton fans giving the 1% a bad name. ;)

    4. Because a statement typed in capital letters is not a convincing argument. Try again, David.

    5. Because it simply isn’t true.

    6. he doesn’t need to be an inferior car

      He is not a superior car, or any car for that matter.

    7. The Hulk ran circles with his competitors in almost every formula he raced in

      Yet he could not even keep his mediocre Williams seat, and not because of his lack of talent.

  4. He does seem a little in the clouds with it all. Very confident! Which isn’t a bad thing I guess…but I wouldn’t say all that true.

  5. Liuzzi said new team mate Narain Karthikeyan is “well known as a fast driver.”

    I might have broken a rib.

    1. Getting mentally ready for the beating I suppose.

      1. Not really. I think by praising Narain’s abilities, he would be perceived as a phenomenal driver when he beats Narain in every race of the season. The only problem with his plan is that F1 fans are not stupid enough to believe that Narain is a ‘fast driver’.

        1. I was kidding about Narain beating Liuzzi. Would be nice if it happened though :P

    2. Certainly in trucks ;-)

      Anybody who professes themselves as the fastest driver in their country, with very little other than bluster to back it up makes me chuckle too.

  6. It’s easy for someone starting out to jump into a McLaren, is it? Someone should have told Michael Andretti…

    1. it was a totally different period, in 1993 McLaren was a dog of a car that only Senna could bring to race victories. Even Hakkinen and Mansell struggled in those dark years.

      1. The 1993 car wasn’t a dog. It just needed a better engine. It was relatively good car and it was certainly better than not making the first corner where Michael Andetti’s races used to end.

    2. Partly Michael Andretti’s fault. When your team and most of your races are in Europe, why anybody would insist on living in the US and fly across for each race is beyond me. Especially since that was an era which allowed unlimited testing. Who knows what Michael Andretti could have achieved in F1 if he had moved to Europe?

  7. Sour grape! He didn’t prove himself driving for FI. And being in a top team isn’t that “easy”. Drivers in top teams have more pressure than the others. Ask Heikki Kovalainen if it’s easy being in a top team.

    1. or ask every other driver who has partnered Fernando Alonso what its like to drive against one of the best drivers in his era…. as a rookie….

  8. Good the team is talking itself up a bit. If Narain manages to push Tonio, great. Even better if they manage to push some other cars as well.
    Let us show what’s in you HRT, Tonio and Narain!

    1. “If Narain manages to push Tonio”

      They may both get the opportunity to do a mansell this season and push their car across the line.


  9. He has the speed to push me to the maximum so we can both push each other to the limit

    Gosh… I wonder why Kubica didn’t tell Renault to choose Narain to replace him then.

    1. SennaNmbr1 (@)
      10th March 2011, 14:14

      Even Yuji Ide on three-legged donkey has the speed to push Liuzzi.

      1. Yeah, ’cause the threat of an impending crash is enough motivation :)

  10. Liuzzi has been outclassed by his team mates. Hamilton and Vettel never have.

    This has nothing to do with the team you’re driving for.

  11. Heikki Kovallainen’s eyebrow went up. Fisichella shook his head. Trulli became a little less scrumptious. It’s just not quite that easy in a top car.

    1. Trulli became a little less scrumptious.

      Is that our first “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” reference on F1 Fanatic?

      1. Comment of the Week!

        Brilliant – now i have to explain why im laughing fit to bust while supposed to be working….

      2. LOL, bring it on! Any videos of that available Keith?

  12. The original version of this article quoted Liuzzi saying it was “easy” for drivers who “jump into a McLaren or Red Bull”. After checking the recording of the interview again we realised this was incorrect. The article has been amended to reflect what Liuzzi actually said, which is that it’s “not easy” for such drivers. Apologies for the error.

    1. ahhh…. that makes a huge difference, thanks for the correction and apologies to Luzzi for thinking him a sore looser.

    2. I’d change it back. The comments have been hilarious Keith :-)

    3. Interesting, makes sense I suppose. Surely it is not easy to just get into the team and drive away.
      His stint at Red Bull was pretty ill conceived especially with that “seat sharing” thing with Klien and I would suspect some interesting behind the scenes politiking by Marko.

    4. The quote makes no sense now though. Or is he suggesting that Red Bull was a top team when he got there?

  13. I am sorry for Liuzzi, but last year Sutil outperformed him consistently. The expectation on him were very different.

  14. Even after everything I still think he don’t deserve a race seat in 2011.

Comments are closed.