HRT: Token penalty for Liuzzi after crash

2011 Italian GP team review

Vitantonio Liuzzi wore a special helmet for his 75th Grand Prix but it only lasted a few hundred metres.

Daniel Ricciardo Vitantonio Liuzzi
Qualifying position 23 24
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’28.054 (-0.177) 1’28.231
Race position
Laps 39/53 0/53
Pit stops 2 0

HRT drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds, excluding Ricciardo’s first two slow laps):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
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 94.332 94.508 93.271 94.225 93.532 96.702 93.439 94.941 93.476 93.342 93.273 93.97 94.347 95.242 95.156 94.685 94.262 98.325 124.17 93.638 93.248 94.114 93.344 92.96 94.482 95.619 93.946 94.296 93.82 94.482 92.879 92.591 92.3 92.013 92.066 92.147 92.121
Vitantonio Liuzzi

Daniel Ricciardo

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 1004.718s
Pit stop 2 Medium 30.777s

Inflicted Liuzzi’s first defeat in qualifying this year but kept things in perspective: “It feels really nice not being on the back of the grid and finishing ahead of Tonio, which is a small target I had set myself, so I?m happy to have achieved that.

“But I don?t want to stop there, I want to do it constantly and progress in one way or another.”

However his race was ruined at the start: “For some reason the car went into anti-stall, jammed in third gear and then the engine switched off.”

The mechanics spent 18 minutes bleeding and refilling the water system before sending him back out again. By that time he had lost a dozen laps and would not have been classified in the final results even without a further delay as he was called back into the pits to investigate rising engine temperature.

Daniel Ricciardo 2011 form guide

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Start, Monza, 2011

Start, Monza, 2011

Start tyre Soft

Liuzzi wore a special helmet to mark his 75th race start. However he didn’t make it any further than the first corner.

In a moment that had parallels with his crash on the first lap in China last year, Liuzzi lost control of his car approaching the first turn and slammed into Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov, putting both out of the race.

He apologised for the crash afterwards, saying: “I had a good start getting past both Virgins, Lotuses and Daniel but then I went for another overtaking manoeuvre and got closed out.

“That put me into the grass and once I was there I tried to slow down but completely lost control of the car and unfortunately hit other cars. I am really sorry for Petrov, Rosberg and the other drivers who were forced to retire because of this.”

The stewards handed down a five-place penalty for the next race, which seems a rather hollow gesture given that Liuzzi rarely starts anywhere other than the back of the grid.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 2011 form guide

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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22 comments on HRT: Token penalty for Liuzzi after crash

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 12th September 2011, 9:57

    Liuzzi will be better off setting a respectable time in FP1, 2 and 3, and not bothering to qualify. He’ll start 24th either way, so he may as well save tyres and see if he can get the HRTs ahead of a Virgin.

    • Tristan said on 12th September 2011, 20:35

      Still better off trying to out-qualify Ricciardo, especially considering his much touted supposed potential. I doubt saving tyres means much when you only do one session of qualifying anyway.

    • Or let Narain have a blast in FP1 and FP2 (whilst praying he doesn’t crash) and do a lap just good enough in FP3.

  2. haha… surprised they didn’t add 20 seconds onto his “Not Classified” race time as well

  3. disjunto (@disjunto) said on 12th September 2011, 10:01

    Attempting to not hit car in front = 5 place grid penalty
    Hitting someone on purpose = 5 place grid penalty.

    I love consistency

    • yes.

      Maldonado got the same penalty for hitting another driver on purpose. yes, Liuzzi deserved to be penalized for the start but you cannot rate the two incidents equally in terms of punishment. same goes for a driver outbreaking himself and hitting another car. the FIA are quick to hand him a drive through for causing an avoidable accident, but in that case when a driver deliberately casues an accident, they should be much more strict. DC was right in this case that a race ban should be at least considered if the FIA want to be consistent.

  4. I suppose the stewards didn’t have much choice in the matter. Good on Tonio for apologising and well done to him for briefly having Hispania’s best race position ever.

  5. Don’t think he deserved the penalty. Racing incident. At least the crash helmet came in handy.

  6. HounslowBusGarage said on 12th September 2011, 11:33

    Watching the replays on TV, we see Tonio towards the inside of the track either taking avoiding action or possibly clipping the rear right of a car in front just before he flicks off onto the grass. I visually followed that car round to the site of Tonio’s accident and the mystery car almost comes to a stop before starting to weave through the wreckage. Can anyone identify that car, was it Kobayashi?

  7. Liuzzi’s move was clearly too ambitious but I wouldn’t have penalized him for causing a collision as I believe that drivers shouldn’t be punished for making mistakes. What is more, Liuzzi had to retire from the race as well so he already had punished himself.

    However, I didn’t like his attempt to put the blame on Kovalainen. I wonder if Ricciardo’s improving performance is making Liuzzi nervous?

  8. Reckless. That’s what it was having watched it again.

  9. Liuzzi did the overtake of the race: half the field in just meters – albeit backwards.

  10. Patrickl said on 12th September 2011, 17:05

    It’s a rookie mistake and Liuzzi made that same mistake twice already (if I count him running into Massa in Canada 2010, thrice even). About time he got some proper penalty for it.

  11. I can’t believe Liuzzi is on the F1 grid. Get him out of there. I’ve never thought he was a worthy driver, even back in his Toro Rosso days. It saddens me that someone like him has a race seat while Nick Heidfeld does not….

  12. MVEilenstein said on 12th September 2011, 19:56

    In other words, the stewards agreed that it was a racing incident, and was punishment enough.

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th September 2011, 13:45

    One hell of a smash from Liuzzi. First corner carnage is always entertaining but I would have liked to see how Rosberg would have performed on his tyre strategy.

    Well done to Ricciardo on out qualifying Liuzzi. Let’s see if he can keep it up…

  14. Again and again, I have the impression that the Stewards must really watch the actions from the beginning, analyze them sequence by sequence to see that H.Kobalainen sent poor Liuzi to the grass, and when you’re in it, there’s no way you can brake appropriately, which result in losing control of your car which is scary at that moment, and you know the rest of the story.
    I don’t think The Stewarts nor Kobalainen should feel confortable pointing their finger to Liuzi, if they watch the action at the first corner with calm. I suggest a fresh look and recognize what they miss at first.

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