HRT: Luckless weekend for Liuzzi

2011 Japanese GP team review

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Liuzzi donned a special helmet for the Japanese Grand Prix but it brought him no luck.

Daniel Ricciardo Vitantonio Liuzzi
Qualifying position 22 24
Qualifying time comparison n/a n/a
Race position 22 23
Laps 51/53 50/53
Pit stops 3 3

HRT drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
Daniel Ricciardo 114.988 106.036 105.146 105.077 104.99 104.679 104.98 105.211 105.299 105.994 108.72 125.084 104.381 104.031 103.862 103.966 103.983 104.024 105.236 106.055 106.167 108.504 138.586 127.878 132.043 151.764 111.37 104.392 104.324 103.236 103.165 103.043 103.243 103.148 103.466 104.852 104.548 106.006 121.44 101.854 103.437 103.685 102.921 102.336 104.607 102.072 102.917 101.754 101.437 103.478 101.473
Vitantonio Liuzzi 115.499 106.241 105.722 105.175 105.42 114.278 107.367 111.23 131.06 105.865 105.689 106.295 106.769 110.891 105.853 107.198 109.573 107.487 107.732 109.112 107.229 107.619 127.081 144.925 106.159 126.244 104.949 104.538 104.459 103.804 104.261 104.712 104.774 105.093 108.596 122.693 102.409 102.949 103.012 105.582 105.582 106.945 104.76 104.332 109.858 105.405 106.97 108.146 109.866 111.81

Daniel Ricciardo

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 23.723s
Pit stop 2 Soft 23.172s
Pit stop 3 Medium 22.91s

Ricciardo had a race-long battle with the Virgin drivers and ended the race within two-and-a-half seconds of both of them.

He felt he might have done better without the safety car interruption, saying: “It came out at times that didn’t suit us.

“But I’m happy with the performance and, personally, I’m pleased with the way I drove and I don’t think I could have done much more. The car was good; with every run we made adjustments that improved it. I’m happy for the team because it was a strong race for us.”

Daniel Ricciardo 2011 form guide

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Suzuka, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Medium 28.244s
Pit stop 2 Soft 24.716s
Pit stop 3 Soft 22.631s

It’s hard to imagine how Liuzzi’s weekend could have gone much worse than it did in Suzuka.

Liuzzi took his car back from Karthikeyan in FP2 and thereafter ran into a series of problem. It broke down in second and third practice, limiting him to a total of just 12 laps.

It got no better in qualifying, as yet more problems kept him from completing a flying lap. He was allowed to start despite not setting a time, but had completed just 14 tours of the circuit before the race began.

With next to no time to set his car up, Liuzzi struggled in the race: “We suffered massive degradation with the rear tyres, especially the rear left, and I wasn’t able to do many laps with any set of tyres.”

He spent every lap of the Grand Prix in last place. Despite catching up to his team mate behind the safety car he ended up a minute behind Ricciardo at the flag.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 2011 form guide

Narain Karthikeyan

Drove Liuzzi’s car in first practice. He covered 25 laps, which was more than Liuzzi managed before the race began.

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    17 comments on “HRT: Luckless weekend for Liuzzi”

    1. To get within 2 seconds of the Virgin cars that were a second faster in qualifying was a good job by Ricciardo. I hope next year we’ll see him in a faster car, to see what he can do in the midfield.

      1. @adrianmorse Yea, it would be good to see him in a more competitive car but I don’t know where he could go at the moment. His best bet is STR but their 2 current drivers are so easily matched is hard to pick them apart.

    2. I, with a hint of bias, was impressed with Ricciardo’s performance. The HRT cars were well down on the Virgins in qualifying, yet he was maintaining a consistent pace with them during the race. I believe (although I may be wrong) that he was legitimately ahead of Glock for a fair portion of the race, as well.

    3. Did the Virgins run without any issues?
      If so, Dan’s drive out classes Alonso’s.

    4. I’m glad he did start… but what’s the point in having the 107% rule in Formula One if they’re not going to enforce it. I think it’s a silly rule, but surely, this, with limited practice and no qualifying time set at all, was the time to enforce it.

      I just don’t understand the point in having the rule…

      A hideously unlucky weekend for Liuzzi, but Ricciardo is quietly impressing me. It’ll be interesting to see if he can get in a Toro Rosso next season and at who’s expense… and where they’ll go… interesting times!

      1. I’m also happy he got to start, but am confused as well.

        The problem is who from Torro Rosso do you drop?
        Eventually they must make this choice.

        1. Indeed it’s difficult. Both Alguersuari and Buemi are not good enough in my opinion. They are solid racers but neither have World Champion potential. However, they are so evenly matched that it would be harsh to drop one without the other. It’s a difficult decision for them.

          1. I don’t think you can say at all they’re not WDC potential drivers – Jaime’s only 21 and Sebastian’s only 22. Hamilton and Vettel are unusual in the history of F1 in being so young to win the championship. Some ages of 1st time champions – Button 29, Raikkonen 28, Hakkinen 30, Hill 36 , Prost 30, Senna 28. So they’ve got plenty of time! At the moment Jenson’s showing how much a driver can over time – I don’t think it’s just that he’s in a better car.

            I don’t think it’s good for the sport if drivers don’t get a chance to develop. Obviously not if they’re making stupid mistakes all the time but that doesn’t seem to be the case with these two. We can’t even know for sure that if Vettel was driving this year’s Toro Rosso he would be beating either of them.

      2. @ben-n The 107% rule is at the stewards discretion, that’s part of the regulation. It’s only real purpose is to ensure that the slower cars don’t cause more lapping than what is deemed reasonable. That doesn’t really matter as much on a circuit like Suzuka where the lap is a reasonable length.

        1. I think Liuzzi shouldn’t have started. He was making a mockery of himself this weekend. His only contribution to this race was to nearly eliminate the race winner in the final lap.

    5. Haha yeah the lap chart shows that Ricciardo pretty much thrashed Liuzzi

    6. Bet Liuzzi will be glad when he sells that helmet off for charity!

    7. Although this was undoubtedly a bad weekend for Tonio, Daniel has reached, perhaps beaten, the pace of his experienced team mate, and is now consistent and fast.

      1. It matches the pattern of Vettel v Liuzzi in 2007.

        Liuzzi quicker in the first few races, but than Vettel/Ricciardo start to pull away.

    8. Why is it allways Liuzzi who has to sit out P1 so paydriver Karthikeyan get’s a drive (to keep TATA happy).

      Opp’s I almost forgot that Ricciardo is also a paydriver (Red Bull).

      1. Ricciardo has never drove at Singapore or Suzuka (I think)

    9. Daniel is still ahead from his experience team mate that does say something.

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