Liuzzi: Force India should be encouraged by Canadian performance

Tonio Liuzzi believes that Force India can take a lot of confidence from its performance in the Canadian Grand Prix – after both cars managed to finish in the points.

Liuzzi led home team-mate Adrian Sutil in ninth and tenth respectively, and although the result may well have been better for the Italian, who qualified in a career-best sixth only to collide with Felipe Massa at the start, he believes that the team should be happy with its performance.

“It’s positive that we could both finish in the points and I could always overtake.” Liuzzi said in a Q&A on Force India’s official website. “It showed that when the car is there, I’m there, and I’m ready to give 100%.”

“We showed in Montreal that we’re back in business. The two races in Barcelona and Turkey where I struggled, we believe we know the reason why it didn’t work and we made some changes to make sure Montreal would be better.

“The team did a great job, because they kept pushing and they believed in me, and this is what I love about this team, because we are a family and there’s always big trust between us. They always push me to the maximum and support me in every situation. Plus they kept pushing with development. We brought an update on Friday night which helped the driveability of the car. We could have had a massive result if we didn’t have the crash in the first lap.”

Up until Canada, Liuzzi had struggled to find pace in VJM03 and had been largely outpaced by his team-mate. However, following a change of chassis ahead of the Montreal weekend, the Italian was immediately on the pace, stating: “Straight away, I think the result on Friday morning and afternoon showed that and we did eighth and 10th in the first two free practices. Saturday morning was good, and qualifying was great.”

Ultimately, the 28-year-old’s race was defined by two key moments. As well as his collision with Massa, which dropped him down the order, Liuzzi was engaged in a late battle with Michael Schumacher for the last few points positions.

Although Schumacher came underfire for his heavy-handed tactics during the race, the Pescara-based driver believes that he was given plenty of respect.

“I had fights with Michael, with Alguersuari, with Adrian, with Hulkenberg, with Massa so it was quite an entertaining race!” he said. 

“I saw that it was the last lap, and I saw that Michael was struggling a lot with the tyres so I used the chance, I saw the door open, and I went for it. I was sure that he would understand that you cannot risk anything when you are struggling. Fighting with Michael is always great because he’s really professional. We had some contact, but he was always correct, and at the end Adrian and I finished ninth and 10th, and I think it’s a great result for Force India.”

Liuzzi now heads to the next round of the championship in a confident mood and although the Italian has never raced around the Valencia Street Circuit, he expects Force India to shine.

“It will be a new circuit for me, but I’ve already worked on it. I’ve started looking at videos and games and things like that! And we will have some proper preparation in the simulator, which is a good tool that we have. I think it won’t be a big problem to learn Valencia.”

“I think it will be a good circuit for us. I think we can still fight for points again and for a good position in the race. I believe it’s not one of those circuits where you can really enjoy the racing, but we just have to try and make a really good qualifying and try to get the best out of it.”