2011 F1 season
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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