Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Barcelona, 2011

HRT confirm Liuzzi as Karthikeyan’s team mate

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Barcelona, 2011
Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT, Barcelona, 2011

HRT have confirmed Vitantonio Liuzzi will drive for them in 2011.

The former Force India driver will partner Narain Karthikeyan at the team.

Liuzzi said: “I am really happy to have signed this agreement with Hispania Racing.

“I never lost hope to be in Formula One as I knew I have the experience and the right attributes for a young and ambitious team. I face a new challenge now and this excites me.

“I also face a lot of hard work in guiding Hispania Racing through the development of our new car. I am extremely grateful to Jos?? Ramon Carabante and to Colin Kolles for giving me such an opportunity.”

Team principal Colin Kolles said Liuzzi “is a very professional driver who will bring a lot of benefits to the team.”

“I have known Tonio for many years as he raced with me in lower categories.

“I am convinced about his skills to develop a car and his speed. He has shown this in the past having contributed to a large extend developing and moving a back grid car to the front. I had the pleasure of working with him and I am very happy and proud to have him racing with Hispania Racing.??

HRT also confirmed they will present their 2011 F1 car and drivers on Friday at the Circuit de Catalunya.

View the full and complete list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

Image ?? Motioncompany

138 comments on “HRT confirm Liuzzi as Karthikeyan’s team mate”

  1. Well, Good news for Liuzzi, (relatively) Good news for HRT, but bad news for fans.

    1. WHY?

      At last we know that they will launch their car on Friday & now we know that they have a 2nd driver. It’s good news at least the fans knows that there will be 12 teams & 24 drivers on the grid of 2011.

  2. I’m not a huge fan but he’ll suit that sort of outfit i reckon. Does seem a bit wasteful by HRT in terms of not blooding new talent, but good in terms of team development.

  3. I’m happy for Liuzzi. I think 2011 will show us just how good or bad Liuzzi is. I don’t believe Liuzzi just all of a sudden turned rubbish in 2010. Before then, he was doing a solid job for Force India in 2009, and Toro Rosso in 2006 and late 2007. I think we will finally see what Liuzzi is truly made of this year.

    1. HRT is barely going to give him an opportunity to ‘show what he is made of’. At the most he will beat Karthikeyan in every race.. but then again so would De la Rosa, Klien, Chandhok, Grosjean and I hate to say it even Nelson Piquet Jr.

      1. If he can occassionally challenge Virgin and Lotus, then I think that will be a great effort from Tonio.

        1. Last year Virgin, Lotus and HRT were pretty much in the same league, as it was their debut year. It seems like Virgin and Lotus have made quite a bit of progress as compared to HRT, and I cant see Tonio battling with anyone other than his teammate, and occasionally D’Ambrosio

    2. What “solid” job did Liuzzi do in 2009? Sutil got the car in Q3 for most races while Liuzzi didn’t even manage to get out of Q1!

      They kept him on hoping that he would improve for 2010, but … well …

      Franz Tost publicly lamented how poorly his drivers were doing. I doubt he thought that Liuzzi was doing a solid job at Torro Rosso.

      I really doubt we will see what liuzzi is truly made off this year. That would depend on HRT making a “solid” car. Who can truly say that they have a good feel for the qualities of Senna or Chandhok from their HRT drives in 2010? More often than not they were simply nursing a broken car to the finish line.

  4. Loads of peopple in the know reckon Liuzzi is a monster of a driver, but that F1 cars have too much downforce for his driving style and he can’t show it.

    Now that he’s going to be driving a car with no downforce we’ll see what all the fuss is about ;)

    1. You make a good point sir

    2. Is the dowforce really significantly lower than it was before?

      1. It was an (admittedly poor) attempt at a joke as to how little downforce the HRT may produce…

      2. Its lower for every car on the grid. Dont see why HRT would be an exception

        1. Given that they had so little of it last year (did they even have a DD diffusor?), they might well be at about the same level or even better.

          1. I was under the impression that they did have a DD last year, but I could be wrong.

  5. Liuzzi’s career is pretty much over now

    1. *F1 Career that is

    2. Well, he might suddenly start performing and kick his career in gear again.

      Agreed, it’s doubtful, but it could happen :)

  6. the last test session was moved from Bahrain to Spain and postponed a few days, and still HRT have not turned a wheel. just shows how much they are struggling.

    i would be surprised if we even see them in testing at all.

    HRT are a non-team. even if they race the whole season it is a dead end for any driver. Liuzzi’s retirement is long overdue and he will take whatever he is offered at this point. he might have to move over later in the season for a paying driver. HRT are obviously not aiming to succeed in F1 or use his experience to develop the car. their aim seems to be just survival at this point. a few tenths of pace on the track is not what they are looking for.

    1. They would have used the extra time to get a few more nice parts ready, just like all the others.

      Their success currently is making it on track and getting through the year.

  7. I think Keith (Collaintine, the guy who runs this website) should do an article debunking the seemingly common opinion that Karthikeyan was the worst driver ever to step foot in an F1 car. He beat his team mate Monteiro in Qualifying over the season. Obviously there are people out there who deserve to be in F1 but aren’t, but that doesn’t mean that people like Karthikeyan or Liuzzi are unworthy of the sport either.

    1. The Last Pope
      10th March 2011, 1:56

      I’d take Monteiro over Karthikeyan any day. Karthikeyan might have been faster than him over one lap, but he was brutal on the car often causing it to break, and if it didn’t break he would he would mess up his race by spinning it off. Mean while Montiero slow and steady picks up the places of those who have problems and finishes every race bar one and even gets a well earned point at spa. Karthikeyan is the one who should be driving touring cars not Montiero. I just hope now 6 years on he has lost some of his recklessness that has the potential to cause a nasty accident.

      1. And I’d take a feisty, more talented driver like Karthikeyan over a slow driver like Monteiro any day. In some qualy sessions Narain was 2 seconds faster than Monteiro. TWO seconds=a lifetime in modern F1. In the races Monteiro just trundled around at the back,and only picked up places as you rightly say when others had problems.
        About Karthikeyan’s being a car breaker, you can’t know this, unless you are an insider of the team. Some people said the same about Raikkonen when he was in Mclaren, only somehow there were no signs of it in Sauber or Ferrari. Why is that?
        Karthikeyan did spun off a few times, but it was only because he had to drive that piece of junk on the limit all the time in order to get performance out of it. Monteiro never even got close to the limits.IMO it’s because he doesn’t know how.

        IMO Monteiro was one of the worst F1 drivers ever. It’s really hard to find a lesser talent after the end of the pay-driver era in mid nineties. I can think only about Yoong, Marques, Mazzacane, Ide, Yamamoto and Friesacher. Maybe there are a few other forgotten bad drivers, but anyway he’s in a bad company

  8. What are people’s thoughts on Geoff Willis? I would have thought he was a pretty solid resource for HRT going forward?

    1. Is he actually employed by the team or is he still in a “consultancy” role?

      1. He’s just one of many techicians and engineers that have been employed by HRT to design and build the car.

        1. He is heading the design team from what I understand.

          With all manner of gaffer tape and sticky back plastic at hand :-)

  9. Although it’s the worst seat on the grid, I guess Liuzzi can start by attempting to rebuild his reputation by convincingly beating Karthikeyan. If he gets lucky, he can get another midfield seat in the future.

  10. For some reason when a Japanese or Indian driver comes on the F1 grid everyone always seem to write them off Karun??
    Did a decent job. Kobayashi? Suzuka? Silverstone? Valencia? need I say more??

    1. The Last Pope
      10th March 2011, 2:19

      Thats not true. Nobody wrote off Kobayashi dispite the resent poor quality of Japanese drivers (Takagi, Nakano, Ide, Yakamoto, Nakajima). Every one was positive on him after his race for Toyota.

      Everyone was also positive on Karthikeyan in 2005 at the season begining, especialy after he qualified very well at his 1st race. Only after it was discovered that he sucked in the actual races did he start to be writen off.

      Likewise everyone has very positive about Chandok and apreciated the difficult job he had with no testing at all.

      People are judging on performace. There is no racism going on here.

  11. Has there been any word on how much Liuzzi (or his sponsors) paid to get this drive?

    A while back there was a rumour that Liuzzi would actually hand over part of his severance settlement from FI to HRT so he could drive there.

    1. I think he claims he is not paying. Not to sure weather he has much personal sponsors to bring on board (but for HRT maybe a few will do, he must be raving to get them in that cool space!)

      I would think the FI settlement will take a while to get done. After all, Giedo vd. Garde took some 2 years to extract his money back from the team.

  12. Pink Pirelli
    9th March 2011, 21:25

    Unsurprising news really. Both sides had limited options, so it was only logical that they pair up in the end. We’ll see how it pans out, well, if FOM decides to give them any airtime, that is.

    1. Narain often made for quite spectacular wrestling with the car, so maybe they migh give him a bit of airtime.

  13. James Williams
    9th March 2011, 23:16

    **** driver and the ********* team in history. Perfect match. I hope they crash and burn.

  14. Trust me this is the most funniest team on the grid currently. First they were late in car launch,heaven knows how fast that car is,now they have probably one of the worst driver on the grid. I would prefer Kilen then Liuzzi, but who knows if the car is FAST then he may put up some surprises.

  15. So it may well end up that Luzzi, drives off into the sunset after a long and distinguished F1 career at HRT boasting “I’m faster than Karthikeyan” :P

  16. I would have liked to see Danica. Since I don’t HRT being a contender for anything except last place, then they might as well be a little less serious. No one takes them very seriously anyway, flow with it.

  17. somerandomguy
    10th March 2011, 6:31

    HRT are an amazing team. The way their cars pull off the track to let the faster cars through is truly inspirational

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