Vitantontio Liuzzi, HRT, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Liuzzi admits he may lose HRT seat to pay driver

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Vitantonio Liuzzi says HRT “might be forced to look for a driver that brings money.”


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

‘Money is the key’ (ESPN)

“At the moment the team has been clear to me; it’s a difficult period in terms of money so they are trying hard to find sponsors to be able to run me as per the contract. But in the case that they are struggling then they might be forced to look for a driver that brings money.”

Kimi Raikkonen primed for Formula One comeback with Lotus (BBC)

“I was expecting it to feel faster than it was. OK, Valencia is not the fastest circuit, but it was still pretty normal.”

Mario Andretti via Twitter

“Hey Rubens Barrichello, good luck at the Sebring test. Hope you’ll like it enough to join IndyCar. Tony Kanaan will be a great mate!”

Barrichello had a seat fitting at KV Racing yesterday.

Paul Seaby via Twitter

“The new Lotus F1 fired up successfully at 1.12pm… All systems good! Bring on the first test!”

Caterham poised for Arden tie-up (The Checkered Flag)

“An internet search for ‘Arden Caterham Motorsport’ reveals that Arden Motorsport Limited were renamed Arden Caterham Motorsport Limited in November 2011.”

Q&A with Kazuki Nakajima (Autosport)

“I haven’t given up on going back to F1; I’ve always said that. This is going to be another challenge and something different.”

Sky Sports News announces 2012 plans

“Rachel Brookes and Craig Slater will be broadcasting ‘up to six days of coverage from each Grand Prix, with on-site reports beginning each Tuesday’.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

K. Rieke objects to the reduced scope for development in F1:

I liked the cars of the 1980s, and also the clean ones of the 2000s. But my favourites were the 1970s, because of the variety and individual creativity by the designers that was allowed ?ǣ encouraged ?ǣ by the rules.

The trend of the rules now dictating that all the cars look so alike is stifling what makes F1 interesting for me, which is the technical high-wire acts that the teams used to conduct to come up with a unique solution to the problem of “getting to the chequered flag first.”
K. Rieke

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Shelley Lee and TNFOX!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Fifty years ago several top F1 drivers were racing in New Zealand. Bruce McLaren won the Teretonga Trophy driving on home ground.

Driving a Cooper, he started on pole position ahead of Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham, and they finished in that order.

60 comments on “Liuzzi admits he may lose HRT seat to pay driver”

  1. “An internet search for ‘Arden Caterham Motorsport’ reveals that Arden Motorsport Limited were renamed Arden Caterham Motorsport Limited in November 2011.”

    Am I the only one who finds this weird? Arden is run by Christian Horner, so why would they be working with Caterham?

    1. Maybe Horner will sell Arden? Perhaps he doesn’t have enough time to run that team anymore. Anyway, if and when Red Bull pull out of F1, all he needs to do is find the money to take over the Milton Keynes team.

      1. Possibly. Arden isn’t exactly a formidable team in GP2. They’ve only had a handful of wins, and they’ve gone downhill ever since Heikki Kovalainen placed second in the 2005 season. Their GP3 results have been better; they were second in the teams’ standings, even if they were miles behind Lotus ART.

        I could see Horner selling Arden and tying it into Tony Fernandes’ Caterham GP2 outfit, especially since the Red Bull and Caterham Formula 1 teams have a working relationship, though I have no idea as to who might buy the physical team (I can’t see it being sold in time for the 2012 season, though). Nor can I see Red Bull leaving Formula 1 any time soon, though if there is one thing they have proven, they’re like the mafia: one big happy family. So when it comes time for Red Bull to leave, I imagine someone within the team would buy it. Why sell the golden goose to someone else?

        1. Excuse me, do you have rubber days or something? It’s just unimaginable to gather the amount of data you have for normal person in normal amount of time available, never mind sharing it with others. Your knowledge is astonishing.

          1. I’m Australian, so I’m wide awake when Europe is asleep. Since nothing much happens that is related to motorsport, and because I’ve spent the past six years as a university student, I have had a lot of free time on my hands.

          2. Haha, :D

            When Red Bull leaves, (And I’m quite sure they will when they stop winning. (Spineless)) I rather hope that they sell the team on. Taking a team out of F1 would be a huge blow to the sport.

      2. I don’t think Christian Horner has much to do with the running of Arden, not since he took on the RBR job. It’s Horner Snr, Garry who runs the team. But it’s an interesting tie up with Caterham… although Arden has never been part of Red Bull, money or structure wise.

        1. They were sponsored by Red Bull as recently as 2008.

          1. Yes, but their origins, from ’97 are not related to Red Bull and they were only significant sponsors for about 3 years (?) I think.

          2. Nevertheless, Arden has a much greater connection to Red Bull than any other team. If and when Dietrich Mateschitz decides to pull the plug on Red Bull Racing, he isn’t going to want just anyone buying the team – especially if they are still good – so selling to Horner and Arden makes sense.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys but is Red Bull a sponsor or a partner? It could be they’re just a normal “I’ll pay you to use your car as a moving billboard” sponsor.

            The connection to Chris Horner would just be a bonus. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. Though Horner is certainly not a devil.

    2. Also, @prisoner-monkeys, Caterham already have a GP2 team.

      1. I can see Mateschitz selling to Horner but not because he’s the owner of Arden. Maybe Horner would have to sell his Arden assets to fund an F1 team? Would that team become Arden, I’d imagine so.

      2. But it might be that the Arden GP2 team will stop next year and team members will then reinforce the Caterham outfit.

        An interesting turn of events indeed. Although I would rather see this as a confirmation of Red Bull staying in F1 long term (tying up Horner’s hands as team principle) then any signal of either of them rethinking F1.

      3. @Fixy – I’m aware of that. But if you read the article, the Arden-Caterham tie-in is being used in Formula Renault.

        1. Yes, I saw that @prisoner-monkeys, but it’s even stranger that two teams merge together in one series but remain rivals in another one.

          1. Perhaps Arden is planning on close down its GP2 operations in the future and merging with Caterham.

  2. Whilst I agree with the COTD to a certain extent, we seem to be forgetting why a lot of these regulations have been brought in, basically because of safety and a growing over-dependance on aero.

    If the chaps in the 70s knew what we do today about aero then of course there wouldn’t be so many different designs because more of the teams would arrive at the optimum solutions faster, regardless of the specific regulations.

    Point is that we know much more than we did back then. We should just be glad there is still some room at all for differentiation between the teams and leave it at that. F1 is still healthy and allows for novel developement. Ok, perhaps we’re heading slighting in the wrong direction but the 2014 regs should shake things up quite nicely.

    1. Well said, I agree completely. Regulations are a necessary evil, and the more the aero engineers learn, the more restrictions we’ll see over time.

    2. I can’t argue with @johnh but I would like to point out that the massive effort in aero development is happening because it is virtually the only area of development allowed. People who have read my comments since I joined will not be surprised to learn that I wholeheartedly agree with COTD as well as Keiths comment on the new nose design.

    3. If we had the same regulations today as they were in the 1970’s, the cars would look completely different to today’s cars. The cars look the way they look because the regulations are so constrained and forces the teams to converge on a set of ever stricter limits. A car designed with today’s technology and know-how, but only restricted by the seventies rules would be outrageous and super fast. drivers would need g-suits to withstand the cornering forces.

      The over-dependence on aero that you mention is not the reason for the rules, but a result of them. It is one of the last areas where teams can innovate nowadays because everything else is restricted. (engine, tyres, exotic materials, etc)

      F1 designers, given more freedom, would design a monster car that could lap 30 seconds faster than today’s F1 cars, but because this would be unsustainable economically (and safety wise) the rules had to get stricter and stricter as years went by. That is why we have less variation throughout the filed. And that is why I get frustrated whenever a smart engineer comes up with a cool innovation and it gets banned by the FIA. In a perfect world we would have a free-for-all and everyone would have the budget to be competitive.

      1. And that is the truth be told… With today’s technology and 70’s regulations it is possible to create a car that would be for all intents and purposes undrivable. If you just think about a unlimited boost 1.5l engine with today’s turbo charger technologies with no material restrictions… And no rev limit. Couple that with unrestricted EBD, pretty open aero rules concerning diffusers and ground effects, traction control and open tyre and brakes regs ( I am not an expert on regulations of the seventies, so if I mentioned something that was actually regulated, please do not hang me… :-) ) and you will get a car that would literally pull your face of when going around a corner me thinks…

      1. Ah, messed that up didn’t I? *redface*

    4. Well said, @john-h

      The regulations that stifle innovation are the very ones that create innovation.

      Seeing how the teams read into ever changing regulations is exciting in itself.

      1. I still don’t believe this idea that we need all these intricate rules to stop the cars from becoming supersonic monsters beyond the control of mere mortals. There are basics that can be simply limited to prevent this, they have applied since the beginning of the rule and are equally valid now, they are mostly covered by, engine capacity, wheelbase, tyre size, ground clearance and the size of aerofoils allowed, with these simple regulations designers can innovate and legislators can legislate to prevent the cars becoming uncontrollably fast.

  3. I saw a slightly unusual F1 story yesterday, and I was half-expecting it to feature in the round-up: Williams have hired the former Olympic and World Champion sprinter Michael Johnson to help save time in their pit stops.

    1. I think thats not even such a bad idea. Considering how closely fought the midfield was this year, anything that gives a slight advantage can help. And the methods used to improve are good, great sprinters are exceptionally good at doing as little as possible to leave their main power and focus on the things that they do, so optimisation is something he should be really good at. Then there is a third benefit: there is media reporting it. Good move by them.

    2. This was reported in various places after a Williams press release a couple weeks ago, but it was the same day as Kubica re-breaking his leg, so it was a bit eclipsed in the news that day. (I can’t remember whether it ever appeared in a roundup on this site.)

      1. Why do I think “performance enhancing drugs” when I see this.

    3. @estesark As @aka_robyn says it was announced a few weeks ago.

      1. @keithcollantine @aka_robyn

        Thanks, I just completely missed it back then. Funny how it is resurfacing now, not just in one place but across many different media.

  4. Tomorrow on the roundup: Kimi Raikkonen has claimed Formula 1 cars are too slow and is now set to become Finland’s first astronaut.

    1. Hehe. It doesn’t really matter how fast Kimi feels F1 is. Like karting, it’s how fast he is relative to the competition that he should really be concerned about.

    2. I bet Lotus aren’t too impressed with Raikkonen’s comments.

      1. Why?
        Kimi did not say Renault->Lotus is slow. He essentially said that he did not forget how a fast car feels to drive (the sheer speed does take some time to get used to). Good news for the team, in fact.

      2. I have to agree with Raikkonen, Formula One cars with heavy fuel loads are too slow (Presuming that he tested with a heavy fuel load).

      3. @prisoner-monkeys He would have had on the very hard demo tyres would he not? Might have influenced his opinion.

    3. Well for what it’s worth; if you took the qualifying times from F1’s aero benchmark track of Catalunya;

      Kimi’s 2009 Ferrari clocked in a 1:21.291 and Kubica’s 2010 Renault (which this car is) clocked in a 1:21.353.

      1. and bearing in mind that the 2009 Ferrari was one of the worst cars they ever produced.

        1. and remember Kimi was using demo tyres, not the proper grippier super-softs.

    4. Does anyone know how fast those Pirelli demo tyres are? For all we know the car feels slow because it’s on wooden tyres.

      1. If you’re going by the supersoft, soft, hard, nomencLature, the demonstration tyres are about around “mahogany”

  5. I’m prepared to admit I may be wrong in a fortnight, but we have seen one ugly 2012 car, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and slate the rules for making identical cars before we have seen them all!

  6. “it was OK, not very fast, felt fairly normal, maybe better in future, Smirnoff now”

    Maurice Hamilton nailed Kimi in his 2012 almanac.

    1. He he, read that too. Last year’s Old Mo’s Almanach was great but the one for 2012 is just lame.

  7. Part of the reason that all the cars look like is that, despite that there is still quite some scope left in the rules, the engineers have got to the point where they understand what is the optimum solution in certain areas.

    Look at last years HRT and Marussia to see that cars CAN look different.
    but then notice the further you get to the pointy end the more similar they become.

    There are obvious exceptions, like Mclaren’s sidepods, but for me, this is just a paradigm shift in the current understanding. If others follow this trend that is.

    1. if you freeze engine development and have one tyre supplier, aero becomes the major performance differentiator. And if you restrict that, you will eventually end up with very similar cars.

      We used to have differing philosophies competing on the same grid. Some went for power and some went for light and nimble. This meant every car looked different. This was also helped by the fact that we used to have very different tracks. Even though we have 20 races, almost all the tracks are designed by the same man and have similar characteristics. Apart from Monza and Monaco there are no longer any extreme tracks that would push the designers to modify the design for that particular track. This means that a car with high downforce is going to be the best allrounder because over the course of the season you want high downforce. This also contributes to the emphasis on aero and why cars look similar.

      1. Some went for power and some went for light and nimble

        This hasn’t been true for a very very long time.

        If you open up the rules, the teams will fine the optimum solution. (As they can nowadays) and aim as close as they can to that.

        There is no rule in F1 that says teams can’t have a low nose. (Like Virgin and HRT last year) but no one does it because everyone knows it’s better to make it higher.

        1. There isn’t one optimum solution.

          We’ve seen this in the last few seasons where RBR has gone for high downforce, lower top speeds whereas other teams have gone for a different strategy but with broadly the same results in performance over a few races.

  8. Vitantonio Liuzzi says HRT “might be forced to look for a driver that brings money.”

    I’m surprised it took him so long to come to this conclusion.

    1. I don’t get it. The comment kind of implies that Liuzzi’s seat was paid; or at least free?

      1. Narain Karthikeyan paid for his seat last year, so maybe HRT could afford to take a non-paying driver like Liuzzi. But I can’t see Pedro de la Rosa paying for his seat the way Karthikeyan did, especially since HRT want him for his ability to develop a car.

    2. Poor Liuzzi.
      He is increasingly getting involved with F1 from the non-driver point of view, I see more and more comments from him. Maybe he’s looking at a post-retirement role in F1?

  9. Sky seem to try to offer a lot of staff and are keen to make a strong coverage so they can attract fans from the huge population that was watching the BBC races but make no mistake all this are temporary unless their subscriptions rise immensely due to F1 and even then it will probably be temporary.
    The cost for their glamorous coverage is gonna be big and if it doesn’t bring huge money(which i find hard to do since this are hard economic times and not many are willing to start throwing money at pay TV) they will tone it down by a lot.
    Even if they get the money they are after as the years go by they will probably reduce the coverage(even adding ads to the race) to make more money by bringing down the cost with the belief that most of those that put Sky won’t cancel it anymore since they used of having it.

    I believe all this enormous attention to F1 won’t be kept(too costly) and is just for the start so they can make good initial impression and get people to pay for Sky. The moment they have them they will start cutting down. And if they don’t get them then they will still cut down or just try to get out of F1 completely.

    1. This might sound a bit strange but I don’t get the impression that Sky are in F1 to make money. It’s another glamorous aside for the Murdochs to boast about. Making money from F1 seems to be the exclusive right of Bernie and CVC.

      After all, Sky News makes a loss every year and they keep flogging that dead horse…

      1. I dunno, the number of F1 viewers in Britain is quite high I think, in fact it reflects quite well against the number of people who actually get Sky.

        Make no doubt, Sky will milk the people who want to watch F1 for a lot of money.

      2. The trick with programs like that is to offer content that lures in te viewers and then keep them on that station for the rest of the evening.

  10. Kimi: “I was expecting it to feel fast when you really go with the throttle but I had the sensation maybe once,”

    That’s what she said!

  11. I don’t see a point for pay drivers buy the HRT seat. It’s pointless. It’s almoast the same, as they were test drivers ,only this provides more milage and less speed. Better pay lotus or str or force india and drive friday sessions in a competitive car. Otherwise it’s the same as they would stay at GP2 in terms of speed and performance.

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