Liuzzi: HRT “will be up to speed” in Malaysia

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Melbourne, 2011

Vitantonio Liuzzi expects HRT’s failure to qualify in Melbourne will be a one-off.

The driver, who failed to beat the 107% time by 1.7 seconds in qualifying, said: “Everybody did an amazing job. We have to be proud because everyone worked well and I think we have to be positive for the future.

“We are upset because we are not in the 107% but we are looking forward to Malaysia where we will be up to speed. We have to be happy with what we’ve done, the lap time was more than what we expected and we believe that our car will be much better in the future.

“It is true that everything was a little bit critical because we ended up not qualifying, but we just have to be proud of the job done by the team.”

“We faced a lot of difficulties getting here and the effort put in by the whole team this week has been huge, but the rules are the rules. Now we’re focused on the next race. I am positive and am sure that everything will go well in Malaysia.”

Liuzzi wasn’t able to complete any timed laps before qualifying and team mate Narain Karthikeyan didn’t fare much better:

“I’ve only done two timed laps with the new car before qualifying so, given the circumstances, it was quite an achievement. Everyone has done a great job and put in a lot of hard work, it’s a shame not to have had one more day.

“With an extra 24 hours we would have been in a better position. We just need to do some more running, so I think that come Malaysia we will be better prepared. Right now we need to stay positive.”

Team principal Colin Kolles praised the work of the mechanics in preparing the cars to run: “In the end it just couldn’t be, still I’m incredibly proud of my whole team.

“Our drivers produced the maximum in the least amount of time possible. We managed to get both cars ready in time for qualifying and proved that the car is capable of running a lot quicker than today. The circumstances in which we arrived were not as desired.

“We created a miracle again, but it wasn’t enough. We’ll be back stronger than ever in Malaysia. There we will have more time to test the car and show where the F111 really belongs".

The stewards decided not to grant HRT an exemption to compete in Sunday’s race.

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    69 comments on “Liuzzi: HRT “will be up to speed” in Malaysia”

    1. Great work to get the cars built at all, I suppose. Liuzzi is probably right about being a lot better prepared next race.

      They should have the new nosecone and wing crashtested, that alone should bring a major step forward. And if those cars will be doing a bit of running to actually do a setup they are in for a good shot.
      I must say Liuzzi especially, but Narain impressed going faster than the Virgins did yesterday morning in FP1.

      1. Agreed. With as little running as they were able to complete, they did a reasonable job. Certainly not a lot worse than they did at Bahrain last year.

    2. Maybe he does have a point here. Considering that they only got the car started for the first time yesterday and they’re running last year’s aerodynamic package, I was quite suprised to see that he was only 1.7 seconds away from qualifying. So if they can get the new wing up to standard, Liuzzi might be in with another shot.

      Karthikeyan, however, is a totally different matter …

      1. Karthikeyan was driving in the middle of the track all the time even entering corners, it seems like the guy doesn’t even understand basic driving concepts, so yes… a totally different matter!

        1. he is scared of the wall. that’s normal for a rusty driver.. maybe better in Malaysia.

        2. that guy who you claim to dont know how to drive qualified 12th at his debut race in Melbourne nearly 2 second faster than his teammate in 2005

          1. But wasn’t that with the rain-affected 1-shot aggregate qualifying system?

            1. Williams4Ever
              27th March 2011, 23:51

              Yes and he could have hashed it one lap that mattered. That was a good qualifying format honestly, tested the nerves of the drivers.

              I still remember qualifier of Brazil’05 as Kimi was crossing the start-finish line to start his hot lap, his engineer got on radio and told him Alonso’s lap of provisional pole, Kimi’s car twitched slightly and Kimi ended up qualifying in the fifth position.

              It was real exciting format rather than the current charade of three rounds of Q1-Q2-Q3, where everyone who doesn’t make the cut blames “traffic”

              They should rather give one hour unlimited runs to every team/driver and be fair and square to everybody and spectators can see more action as well.

            2. They should rather give one hour unlimited runs to every team/driver and be fair and square to everybody and spectators can see more action as well.

              Yes, then all the drivers wait until the last 10 minutes and blames traffic for a poor lap.

              I think the current format of Qualy is the best we’ve had.

    3. More than they expected? This is not a team assembled in the final weeks for the campaign this time, they’ve had the whole winter to plan and get ready. They’re not ready and there’s no reason whatsoever to suggest they will be by Malaysia – not least because if they don’t race tomorrow, they have no track time.

      1. Read about what actually happened during their winter, Toyota, then See whether your comment stil stands.

        1. Yes right. He is purely mis-informed. Read your homework team. :)

        2. Well if they paid the bill like they were supposed to… no sympathy on that one.

      2. I have nothing but admiration for HRT, how easy it would be to pack it in and go home.

        The fact they got both cars on the track is a minor miracle, and they deserve a huge clap on the back because of it.

        1. FIA should do another makey uppy mid season rule change and allow a test session at Barcelona to any team who break 107% 3 times in a row – it might make HRT/Virgin/Team Lotus be able to catch up with the others, and that would only be good for entertainment and overtaking!

          1. thats actually a good idea, i might not even be that expensive if the teams are still in europe.

          2. Williams4Ever
            27th March 2011, 23:52

            True they can have it on Monday-Tuesday after the race day.

            1. That’s a bit like what they do in NASCAR. Any team nit in the top 25 in owner points get an extra test session during each weekend.

    4. Ivan Vinitskyy
      26th March 2011, 12:31

      Second season and no improvement, why bother at all?
      I hope no sponsors touch them.

      1. To judge from their livery no sponsor has so far. That will be one of the problems, why they did not make it, wont it?

      2. Shouldn’t we be admiring the fact that a small start up team is trying to make it into F1?

        The comment you just made Ivan is the same sort of comment people used to make about Red Bull.

        “Pah red bull? thats the joker in the pack isn’t it?”

        1. Ivan Vinitskyy
          26th March 2011, 15:34

          You either do it or don’t bother. HRT never had the resources to be in F1. Admiring failure I will not.

          1. Admire, no, but I have to feel sorry for a team that Mosley tricked into signing up to a “cheap F1”. They had the resources for what they they were told they were signing up for, but that didn’t work out.

        2. Red Bull were never in this predicament.

          1. TheGreatCornholio
            30th March 2011, 23:10

            Only cos their owner has an indecent amount of cash at his disposal! If all F1 team owners were as wealthy as Dieter Mateschitz the 107% rule would be as irrelevant as your comment.

    5. “With an extra 24 hours we would have been in a better position. We just need to do some more running, so I think that come Malaysia we will be better prepared. Right now we need to stay positive.”

      An extra 24 hours? They had 2 extra weeks to get ready. If Bahrain wasn’t canceled, I doubt HRT would have made a showing there. Bernie and Luca are going to have a field day…

      1. They had an entire year to get ready, because they did nothing with last year’s car (which they’re still racing in disguise).

        1. So did Ferrari and Alonso only got 5th…
          In fact, now that I think about it! everyone had a year!

          Maybe when your team hasn’t got as much resources of dosh, it’s a bit harder no?

          1. I don’t know, all the other teams managed to turn up and build cars in time for FP1…

        2. Or not racing, as the case may be.

    6. i hate to say I told you so, but…

      I think it’s fairly brave for Liuzzi and Karthikeyan to say anyting at all, after all, they are drivers and have no input on the assembly or provision of a fast car, or a car at all.

      I don’t want to be a pessimist, but I fail to see the point in them even trying. I mean, no sponsors, no track time, two rubbish drivers, and a whole team who are probably embarrassed to be wearing HRT livery. What motivation do any of them have to carry on at all??

    7. this would be embarrassing for a GP3 team let alone F1

      1. Considering that GP3 cars would take over two minutes to lap Albert Park, I’d say Hispania aren’t as bad as you’re making them out to be.

        1. Somehow… I don’t think Lee’s comment was free of sarcasm… :)

          1. But prisoner you cant really say because an F1 spec car can beat a GP3 spec car that its not that bad. An old Nova with that Cosworth engine in would no doubt out lap a Gp3 car.

    8. Brundle tore them apart today. I seem to remember him saying ‘I don’t know why Liuzzi has parked himself with that team’. Ouch :P

      1. Speaking of Brundle, I thought he adapted his style perfectly to that of lead commentator and DC did a decent job. They’ll gel quickly and I’m looking forward to them in the race tomorrow.

        1. Many agree with you Ben N, head over to the forum…

        2. Agreed, there’s a great mix of his knowledge and his ability to call the action, with DC providing further insight.

          Much better than Legard
          JL: There’s a Red Bull in the barrier!
          MB: That looks like a Toro Rosso
          JL: Buemi?
          MB: I think that looks like Alguersuari
          JL: Yes, it’s Alguersuari, marshalls are waving double yellow flags, how will that affect Lewis Hamilton.

          We got way too many of those (this one I made up) when Legard was around.

          Brundle is doing an excellent job so far.

      2. Yeah Brundle did say that. I think he said that Liuzzi’s F1 career was over, fair or not, and picking HRT (Horrible Racing Technology) was a mistake. Probably a mistake since he could have gone on to drive in another series, but putting yourself into an HRT for a year could hurt that.

    9. They at least put in a better effort than the Mastercard Lolas did years ago. They were at least 12 seconds behind pole if memory serves.

      1. ah yes that brings back memories, but the sport has moved on since then, there just isnt room for teams like HRT now, its not completely about pace. Its about showing up at the, as far as it should be, second race still not having built their cars. As I say the level has been raised since back then.

      2. At least the Lola had sponsorship, maybe only for once race…. but still! :)

        1. This sponsorship was what ruined them however. MasterCard forced Lola to enter a year sooner than planned.

    10. Had HRT done a sensible number of laps in the 3 available practice sessions and been within 107% in one of them then maybe they should have been allowed to race. But given they hardly did any laps I think this was the right call.

    11. Hopefully they can get their act together for Malaysia. As much as I hate the rule it made sense to exclude them from this race. There was a number of occasions in Q1 where they were literally a mobile chicane. I’d hate to think we have another Forti fiasco on our hands!

    12. highly doubt so! they have no preparation at all. They don’t know the tyres, they don’t know anything at all about the new car.

      I highly doubt they’ll be able to beat the 107% time at Malaysia. Specially because all the other teams will be improving aswell… and a lot faster than HRT.

      1. Yet they were 2 seconds off virgin with about 11 laps of running….

      2. TheGreatCornholio
        30th March 2011, 23:19

        They actually did quite a few laps on the Pirellis at one of the pre-season tests in last years car so they DID have at least some knowledge of the tyres.
        Some of you lot are gonna have egg on your faces when they start out qualifying the Virgin cars in a few races time.
        The best thing they did last year was to employ Colin Kolles then later on Geoff Willis.

    13. Liuzzi got close, so if they learn more about the new car, they can probably get that out of set up. When you’re so far of seconds are easier to fins than at the top.

    14. u guys are such a nanny. I’m sure the lot of u are using the same word when minardi race in 2005 where weber scored his first point. and look at minardi now??? in q3 disguise as toro rosso. my vote is to let them to race. i hate this 107 number

      1. I think you mean Australia 2002 :)

    15. He also said HRT would get out for FP1 but you know…I don’t think they will be up to speed, just a waste of 2 grid spots if you ask me.

    16. A driver who hasn’t raced at all in F1 for maybe 5 or 6 years and then qualified 1.7 seconds slower than his team mate, yet had only done 2 flying laps just 2 hours before qualifying in an unknown car.
      I’m not saying Karthikayen is going to set the track on fire, but I won’t be so quick to write him off

      1. Williams4ever
        26th March 2011, 16:21

        So true. People who have been posting nasty comments about this team and its drivers seem to conveniently forget the lap timings of the drivers from established team in their shakedown laps. having put barely 2-3 timed laps that these drivers come with seconds to Virgin teams lap times (who have full winter test under their belt)is testimony that the drivers are good.its just that they are in a team seriously lacking funds.

      2. I 100% agree with oliver,Nk looks little but considering he was out of f1 for 5 year and car hardly run before qualifying i think it was respectable performance from him.
        He may not seem quick but he qualified jordan in top 17 at least in first few race in 2005
        so i expect more to performance to come from him. Many people will not agree with me but i think if hrt car allows he will be competitive IF not faster than tonio

    17. Williams4ever
      26th March 2011, 16:14

      For every one dissing the minnows and blaming them for wasting the time during winter testing etc. I do agree things could have been better.
      But take case of McLaren with glut of resources at their disposal and all the time they spent doing things through out the winter (including glittering launching ceremony) and one week before Australia, they were effectively copying ideas off the Redbull car that they saw in winter testing. Its just that having top of the line simulator and services of Gary Pafett at their disposal save them the day.

      Ferrari went through elaborate testing and put in so much mileage on their new car and looked out of sorts on Saturday of the season opener.

      Its easy to disrespect a small team and say nasty things about them. but they probably have put in more effort in terms of the resources they have on hand. Even their drivers who had hardly any feel of the car were well within couple of seconds of Marussa Virgin (who had full winter testing) is testimony to the spirit and abilities of the team.

      Its just that this 107% rule has denied them to run on Sunday and understand the car better and resolve any reliability issues and stuck them in lose-lose situation for rest of the season. There have been times before when likes of Redbull, FIF1(Spyker), STR have salvaged Sunday afternoon as glorified test session, by fixing the car issues mid-race and sending out their drivers on track to collect mileage. Highly unfair of FIA to deny HRT to race on sunday after first shortlisting them ahead of other bids.

      1. “including glittering launching ceremony”

        Wasn’t it just a rainy day at Potsdamer Platz with about 50 shoppers there or did I something?

    18. Do you think whomever designed that car looked at the nose on the Virgin and thought – hey what a good solution? Make the nose wider to assist with the flow to the underside of the car… argggh!

    19. RIISE…waste of two grid spots? Who has the money and skills to build a competitive car to take those spots? Many of you condemn any team that isn’t the fastest but imagine where we may have been after all the manufacturers pulled out, if Renault had pulled out, if Peter Sauber gadnpt stpped in again? F1 with 6 or 8 cars????

      1. They could have allowed Stefan GP to buy the Toyota leftovers and run Villeneuve and Nakajima, that could have been better, no, that WOULD have been better, even with two average drivers (Yes, I am calling JV average).

    20. Don’t know if any body is interested
      with all the bashing and support that hrt is getting
      found some pictures of rear of car

      this is rear suspension layout of hrt

      the rear exaust blown over diffuser

      1. TheGreatCornholio
        30th March 2011, 23:37

        Within a few races they’ll be able to replace those “cool spot” stickers for ones that say “faster than Virgin”!

    21. Up to speed in Malaysia? I truly wish them the best.

      But for a team that failed to test this season and struggled to even be ready for the race, you’d have to say the bookies aren’t favoring that.

    22. I admire everything they’re doing. They’re doing things the hard way with no sponsors and trying to do their jobs as best they can. It would probably be a bigger achievement for HRT to finish a few races outside the bottom 6 runners this season than it would for Ferrari or RBR to win the championship. Also, I think some people have now decided it’s safe to slate HRT as much as they want after Brundle did it on tv this morning. Have faith i say, even if they do turn out to be as rubbish as they currently are, they’re not hurting anyone other than themselves. I think I’ve said this somewhere else already, but HRT and their drivers are just easy scapegoats for the lazy and cynical.

    23. I do have a certain amount of respect for HRT, going against the grain and trying to really give F1 I go, how can you not respect that? This 107% rule punishes the drivers though and ultimately the team. If you think that a team shouldn’t be at a GP then don’t let them turn up with all their gear. Grant them the option to have a weekend in their factory, fine tuning bits here and there.

    24. I don’t think with good further updates they will be any good until Spain.

    25. The more people hate HRT, the more I find myself defending them.

      I would personally love it, if in Malaysia they come out fighting and are faster than Virgin.

      Virgin had a complete winters prep, and HRT came within 1.7 seconds of them in what was effectively a shakedown.

      In Liuzzi, they have someone who is clearly an able F1 driver.

      All of this nonsense about HRT being a joke, and having cocked up their winter prep is just ill informed.

      They’ve had a massive team of designers working on the redesign of the new car, under Geoff Willis, who has proven he knows his way around F1.

      it would have been easier to just turn out with last years car, but they’ve tried to do things to improve, and all of the armchair experts are slating them. And under Kolles they have a stubborn guy who tends to get things done.

      I am a McLaren fan, and we’ve got our own problems, but so have Ferrari and Mercedes.

      So I for one will be rooting for HRT in Malaysia. There is an old adage that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all ;-)

      I’d put my money on a Ford/Williams back end and a Geoff Willis design turning out ok in the end.

    26. I like to back an underdog, if that underdog admits it is so.

      Things like – we left FOTA because they didn’t respect us, followed by FOTA confirming they were booted out for not paying, and then HRT admitting (after saying they left of their own free will) they were booted out, and didn’t pay because they weren’t respected.

      Kolles claiming that if they hadn’t had (not used) rookie drivers, they would have finished 10th last year. They were lucky to finish 11th, if it were not for a Torro Rosso in Korea.

      They terminated the Toyota contract, then Toyota announced a breach.

      They should just hold their hands up, admit what we all know – they don’t have the money and are doing their best. Stop going into things they can’t afford too. Minardi did that, and I respected them for it.

      Narain was hired because of his talent, not because he brought money from Tata then…

      They had a whole winter to build the car, and strangely, parts were held back in customs preventing them from testing. All the other teams arrived in Melbourne and built their cars ready for FP1 – HRT didn’t get going until the end of FP2.

      Oh, and they don’t have a lot of money, yet they hired a Hollywood designer to create their livery. Point?

      Martin Brundle called them a waste of petrol. Sorry, I have to agree.

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