Liuzzi grabs precious points as puncture hobbles Sutil (Force India race review)

Liuzzi and Massa tangle on the first lap

Liuzzi and Massa tangle on the first lap

The Force India duo had an eventful race, swapping positions twice on-track without coming to blow. Having started fifth and ninth the team clearly hoped for a better finish than ninth and tenth.

But after Vitantonio Liuzzi’s tangle with Felipe Massa at the start, and Adrian Sutil’s puncture, they can count themselves fortunate to have brought home any points.

They came thanks to last-lap passes by both their drivers on Michael Schumacher.

Adrian Sutil Vitantonio Liuzzi
Qualifying position 9 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’15.881 (+0.233) 1’15.648
Race position 10 9
Average race lap 1’22.377 (+0.02) 1’22.357
Laps 69/70 69/70
Pit stops 2 2

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Adrian Sutil

Out-qualified by his team mate for only the second time this year having struggled to get heat into his tyres for his final run in Q3.

Sutil steered clear of the mayhem at the start and ran seventh behind Robert Kubica. Trying to pass the Renault on lap 27, Kubica swerved around the Force India to head into the pits, clipping the right-rear tyre as he went.

Sutil picked up a puncture from the contact had to complete an entire lap on the disintegrating tyre, losing 45 seconds. Kubica was later reprimanded for the move.

Sutil came out in front of his team mate, who passed him, but Sutil reversed the move at the start of lap 29. However he was unable to keep Massa behind, who lunged past while Sutil hesitated in traffic on lap 54.

Five laps later Liuzzi came past him as well in a move the TV cameras seemed to miss. Sutil capitalised on Liuzzi’s last-lap attack on Schumacher to follow his team mate past the Mercedes to claim the final point.

Compare Adrian Sutil’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi

A badly-needed result, albeit one that didn’t look very likely at the end of lap one.

Having switched chassis for this race Liuzzi edged Sutil by 0.2s in qualifying to take sixth on the grid – which became a career-best fifth after Mark Webber’s demotion.

Massa came around the outside of Liuzzi at the first corner and squeezed him hard – the pair made contact several times which resulted in Liuzzi being tipped into a spin at the hairpin with his front wing in pieces. At the end of lap one he was 49 seconds behind – and there would be no safety car to help him catch up.

Liuzzi made light work of the slower cars and arrived behind his delayed team mate at the mid-point of the race. He could do little to prevent the recovering Massa from getting by but was promoted to 11th when the Ferrari driver had his run-in with Schumacher.

Liuzzi passed Sutil and then spent the final laps putting pressure on Schumacher. The Mercedes was braking early and cutting chicanes but Liuzzi avoided getting sucked into a collision and barged Schumacher aside on the final lap for ninth place.

Compare Vitantonio Liuzzi’s form against his team mate in 2010

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15 comments on Liuzzi grabs precious points as puncture hobbles Sutil (Force India race review)

  1. Dev said on 14th June 2010, 9:43

    tonio will do well on low down-force type circuits… i expect him to do well at Monza too.

    • Marco said on 14th June 2010, 14:18

      I agree with this opinion… Liuzzi isn t driving well on places like Barcelona or Istanbul, where is quite a lot highspeed corners… He could go in trouble possibly in Silverstone, Spa or Suzuka, too…

      • BasCB said on 17th June 2010, 8:59

        I thought it might have something to do with the hard/soft and Medium/super soft tyre sets.

        Maybe his driving hampers him in getting enough temperature into the hards/sofst, as his bad driving mostly showed in qualifying.

        But he claims the team have found the issue and knows what to do about it. So the next 2 races he should be able to show wheater that is true.

  2. kbdavies said on 14th June 2010, 9:44

    Not sure if anyone noticed, but Massa hit Button first, bounced off him, then hit Liuzzi. Button was the lucky one, as Massa’s right tyre hit his side pod, before he veered over and hit Liuzzi.

    • Lachie said on 14th June 2010, 10:43

      You’re not alone, I noticed that too. I assume Legard was talking when Brundle would have wanted to point it out.

      • haha, that narrows it down

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 14th June 2010, 11:23

        Wonder if Button’s car was damaged, clearly can’t have been that significant, but it was quite a clout.

        Good recovery race from Force India, I just knew Luizzi’s grid position ment sods law would intervene, great recovery from him though, the drive will have done just as much as the qualifiying in protecting his seat from Di Resta, pull out a few more of those an he could well still be in Force India next year.

        • BasCB said on 17th June 2010, 9:01

          Liuzzi certainly did not blaim Massa (some voices in the FI team did), as he saw Button being there right next to Massa.

          But i am with you on the impressive recovery drive. He is driving, as if they really found the missing link and now feels confident in the car again.

  3. KateDerby said on 14th June 2010, 9:56

    What bad luck for Luizzi, his best qualifying and he gets booted to last on the first lap! Not unlike his bad luck at Monza last year when he was running for points in his first GP for 2 years and ends up with a DNF due to mechanical failure.
    Wishing him better luck to go with his improved car.

    • BasCB said on 17th June 2010, 9:02

      But he was able to show everybody a great recovery drive, so nothing much lost (except maybe beating Vettel to the flag for 4th.) for his drive.

  4. It was gratifying to me to see Massa come unstuck for his incredibly bad habit of swerving all over the grid at the start to try and bully a better place for himself. To date, more experienced drivers have tended to give him room. Not this time.

    When I saw him alongside Liuzzi on the grid after qualifying I predicted a first corner crash for him in one of the comment threads here. Wasn’t surprised at all when I saw it happen.

  5. Steezy said on 14th June 2010, 12:11

    They were talking about Kubica’s move as he headed for the pits on the BBC Forum, and talking about how it was one of the worst things they’d seen in the sport. It was pretty bad… and I didn’t even know it caused a puncture for Sutil until now, heh.

    Everyone rates Kubica so much but he had a pretty silly race today.

  6. M0tion said on 14th June 2010, 13:08

    Great drive from Liuzzi but I do think their F duct as carried by Sutil is behind their regular car and that the criticism of Liuzzi’s speed in Turkey was not deserved. The idea that few will carry the Fduct in Monza is gaining ground.

  7. MouseNightshirt said on 14th June 2010, 16:33

    As I said on the formation lap in the live blog, I suspected Liuzzi would be involved in a lap 1 altercation.

    A needed result, his latter-race performance was relatively impressive, but has still made too many errors the seasons. At least this race has brought me away from completely writing him off.

  8. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 14th June 2010, 19:16

    A fantastic race for Vitantonio that I certainly didn’t expect! On a random note, after the GP I made myself some waffles for breakfast on my Vitantonio waffle iron. :-)

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