Vitantonio Liuzzi

RasputinLives

Not dead
Contributor
Hoping for a good debate on this one because I change my mind about him about every other week.

Antonio has a decent background in other formula and was Formula 3000 champion(pre-GP2) in 2004 - only his second season in that formula.

Graduated in to F1 the following year and was originally going to get the second car at Red Bull alongside DC but in the end Red Bull decided to give him and Christian Klein a share option of the car. Antonio only go 4 races and Klein got the rest of the season. To be fair to Liuzzi he was coming into F1 for the first time with little testing and Klein had already done a full season with the same team(then the Jags of course). Records show he scored a point on his debut at San Marino after the BARs got the cut for their 'extra fuel tank' but 2 retirments and 9th there after wasn't enough to get him the seat.

Red Bull can't have been 2 unimpressed though because the following year he was given a seat at Toro Rosso their junior team alongside american clown Scott Speed. Antonio scored Toro Rosso only point that season with an 8th place in the U.S. He consistantly beat Speed but only acheived 4 top ten finishes all season. Again to be fair to him the Toro Rosso was not a good car and had an underpowered V8 engine which left them struggling. Liuzzi's contract was renewed for 2007 but he was under increasing pressure due to a certain bloke named Sebastian Vettel waiting in the wings and due to American sponsorship the idea of KART champion Sebastian Bourdais being signed. Liuzzi didn't respond well and had an awful start to 2007. Strangely enough it was the arrival of Vettel that spurred Liuzzi into some form and he was unlucky to be given a time penalty in Japan that slipped him back to 9th denying him some points. The very next race in China he out qualified his soon to be very famous team-mate and took 11th on the grid. He also had a fantastic race coming hime 6th and pretty much keeping pace with the Honda of Jenson Button all the way. Unfourtunatly for him Vettel finshed 4th so it looked less impressive.

Dropped by Toro Rosso he became Force India's test driver in 2008 and finally got his chance at a race seat part way through 2009 when Fisichella decided to go to Ferrari. He didn't score any points but he pretty much kept pace with Sutil which secured him his seat for 2010. You could say he was unlucky in 2010 - seem to have a habit of getting involved in first lap incidents. When he did manage to avoid them though he used to be in the top 10 and had a brilliant drive in the wet in Korea where he was 6th and pretty much kept pace with the front runners.

Dropped again by Force India he picked up the drive with HRT where he's been doing whats been expected of him I guess.

If you look at his results compared to Sutil and then look at Di Resta's results compared to Sutil then Antonio actually comes out on top so was Liuzzi dropped unfairly? If you look at the results he also did a much better job than Bourdais at Toro Rosso who replaced him there. Has Liuzzi been the victim of PR? With a better management team behind him would he have kept those drives and proven himself? Is there any point him being at HRT? Martin Brundle suggested he was doing his career more harm than good.

Any thoughts?
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I always thought this guy was not bad, rated highly round the paddock with his junior career, but he was poor in one season with Toro Rosso, I changed my opinion. However, in 2010 I found that he was unfairly criticised, he got unlucky a lot, and unlike di Resta this season, Liuzzi was always the one getting replaced in the 2010 season, unlike this season where it's switching.

Question mark over him, rightly so....
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
Liuzzi IMHO is one of those drivers that hard to judge.

In 2004 he wasn't really gonna shine much with Red Bull chopping and changing him and Klien that season.

Can't seem to remember him much at Toro Rosso, though i do remember him and Kimi Raikkonen crashing into each other at the 2006 Hungrian GP.
 
Hoping for a good debate on this one because I change my mind about him about every other week...
...which means he isn't consistent enough. You have to look at how much talent there is currently on the grid and there's a lot (and Hulkenberg doesn't even have a seat!)...and more has arrived in 2011 (Perez, Maldonado, di Resta).

If you're not consistently quick when you have the chance to show something, it's easy to get left out.

You're either going up the grid...or you're going down the grid.

He came through the Red Bull driver programme and they're ruthless. Doornbos, Freisacher, Speed, Klein, Bourdais, Chandook, Buemi, Alguersauri, Ricciardo, Amermuller, Hartley, Zaugg. All Red Bull guys.

Only a few end up at the top. Vettel and Raikkonen.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I think comparing Maldonado with Liuzzi is a bit harsh...Maldonado isn't clearly setting the world alight and Liuzzi is by far more consistent than him
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Liuzzi is one of those drivers who was impressive at junior level but fail to cut it at the top due to not having the breaks like Herbert, Magnussen, Verstappen, Pantano.

He was a multiple kart championship winner only bettered by Pantano I believe before him and he won a record 7 out of 10 races in the Gp2 season in 2004 I believe and was even talked about driving for Williams or Ferrari but this did not materialise.

Red Bull wanted him in their car alongside Klein but Horner managed to convince Dieter and Helmut that there should be one experience driver in a new team - DC rather than two rookies ( well Klein had 1 season under his belt)
So a bizarre situation of where they were both offered the same contracts but it turned out Klein had more time in the car as he was only given 4 races.

Two seasons of STR did not achieve much for him when Red Bull decided it was time to promote Vettel after being impressed by his BMW debut.

Then a strange situation at FOrce India being reserve driver but then having to share the car with Di Resta in 2010 and he did not help his cause constantly missing Q2 and being slower than Lotuses and Virgins.

Chance of a Renault drive was overlooked for HEidfeld
He is an example of what happens if you don;t get the breaks to make it in F1 as they are limited opportunities to shine
 

Sarinaide

Banned
The only real assesment of Liuzzi is that he appears to be knocking on the exit door, his career is going backwards and rapidly, we may very well see the last of him this year.
 

RasputinLives

Not dead
Contributor
You have to look at how much talent there is currently on the grid and there's a lot (and Hulkenberg doesn't even have a seat!)...and more has arrived in 2011 (Perez, Maldonado, di Resta).
Well as I pointed out in my orginal post - Liuzzi had more points at this stage last season than Perez, Maldonado and di Resta have at this. He finished 1 point behind Hulkenberg last season in cars that were pretty much on par (Force India finshed one point behind Williams). When Vettel was his team-mate he was beaten by him but only just - If the Toro Rosso was performing well then Liuzzi would get a good result out of it - if not quite as good as Vettel (see China and Japan 2007) but I certainly think he would have done a better job in 08 than Bourdais would I have done.

I kind of get the feeling Liuzzi has been trumped by a PR machine - first with DC, then with Bourdais and lastly with Di Resta, all of whom were PR'd to the max. The decision to drop Liuzzi from Force India seemed to have been already made before he turned a wheel in 2010. Also to his credit he had to give up his car in practice to Di Resta more than Di Resta has for Hulkenberg and unlike Di Resta we didn't hear him using it as an excuse for poor results.

I think Johnny Herbert is a good comparrision. Herbert kept moving down the grid until he got his chance at Benneton where he proved he was a race winner. I doubt Liuzzi will ever get that chance but I think its important to note what can happen to a driver if the PR is not right.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think he's a decent driver, but he missed Q2 too many times last season, and he's just so inconsistent I don't think, as a team boss, that I'd want to take my chances.

He's doing a good job at HRT, however!
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I cannot understand how Liuzzi still has a seat in F1. Despite having more experience in F1, he never outperformed Speed (never was a driver more inappropriately named) to a meaningful degree. They were usually only one or two places apart. Yet Speed is (mercifully) long gone from the scene, yet Liuzzi remains. It makes no sense.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'm sure HRT hired him more for the experience and knowledge he has rathre than his pace. Not sure if this has helped them much but they are doing a good job of being last, or at least a better job than they did last year and some of this has to be down to Liuzzi's input - Narain didn't seem to know which end of the car was the front and I'm sure Ricciardio is benefitting from his experience.
 

RasputinLives

Not dead
Contributor
he never outperformed Speed (never was a driver more inappropriately named) to a meaningful degree. They were usually only one or two places apart.
Thats a bit like saying Glock never out performed Di Grassi last season because they were only ever a few places apart. Liuzzi beat Speed in 10 of the 18 races and retired from another 4 in 2006 - he also scored Toro Rosso's only point. I'm afriad the Toro Rosso that year was severely under powered that year and not a great car. True he had an awful start to 2007 but you should give his dues for keeping pace with Vettel when he got in the car near end of the season even if Seb was a rookie.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Thing is Rasputin, in 2007, Vettel came in was it halfway through, or the last third of the season?

Yet Vettel was beating him comprehensively.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Rasputin,

Taking the races where both Liuzzi and Speed finished in both 2006 and 2007, the score is: Liuzzi finished ahead 6 times, Speed finished ahead 6 times. What a HUGE difference!
 

RasputinLives

Not dead
Contributor
Ok - you put him on heads to head when Vettel was his partner and he comes out 2 -1 up

Thing is Speed may have finished in front of him but you have to look where he finished. Liuzzi managed a 6th place in China 2007 - Speed came nowhere near that - Bourdais never finished that high either. In actual fact neither have Buemi and Alguersauri
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
if you look at Liuzzi's quali performance he did occasionally qualify slower than Lotuses and Virgins last year

Problem was last year his seat was already under pressure from Di Resta...Sutil kept his because he brings sponsors to the team and being German supposedly may make Mercedes be kinder to the team.

Di Resta comes with full Mercedes backing who promised him a seat in F1 once he did his DTM stint

Incidentally VJ said he won;t decide his drivers until 15th December which suggests there is a possibilty that Di Resta may get promoted to Mercedes works team depending on whether Schumacher quits or Rosberg moves on

Hulkenberg has done well in practice bar crashing in Valencia and Sutil is under pressure to keep his seat but has sponsors

Liuzzi somehow has never had the breaks in F1 despite being highly rated by many- DC got the Red Bull drive because someone possibly Horner reminded Dieter and Helmut that an experienced driver helps rather than two rookies for a new team

Bourdais was picked because Berger rated him not Franz Tost and obviously having had success in US would appeal to Red Bull there
 

RasputinLives

Not dead
Contributor
Sutil is under pressure to keep his seat
I'm not sure thats true anymore after recent performances - especially German GP just gone - He's well on top of Di Resta. But thats for the Sutil thread(is there one? I think I did one ages back and gave it a silly name like 'is he Sutil-able for a top drive)

I'd have to check on the Liuzzi/lotus/virgin/slow quali thing. I'm not sure it happened in the dry.

I agree with you though he's not been given the oppotunity he deserves. For all my gusto on defending him about being useless etc I still don't think he'd ever be better than an upper midfield runner but I do think he's under-rated when you look at the hype around some drivers.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I'm not sure thats true anymore after recent performances - especially German GP just gone - He's well on top of Di Resta. But thats for the Sutil thread(is there one? I think I did one ages back and gave it a silly name like 'is he Sutil-able for a top drive)

I'd have to check on the Liuzzi/lotus/virgin/slow quali thing. I'm not sure it happened in the dry.

I agree with you though he's not been given the oppotunity he deserves. For all my gusto on defending him about being useless etc I still don't think he'd ever be better than an upper midfield runner but I do think he's under-rated when you look at the hype around some drivers.
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Sutil was making noises to Force India last year for an improved contract because he was talking to Renault and that move did not happen and he ended going nowhere but also having to fight his seat against Hulkenberg, Di Resta and Liuzzi

What saved his seat was probably the need for continuity and the fact he brings the team some sponsorship money

I see his career almost like Nick Heidfeld's only staying with the team because his first choice did not materialise in the end .

He is still not guaranteed his seat because Mercedes are backing Di Resta very much and Hulkenberg is managed by Schumacher's ex manager Willi Weber who now doubt has been telling Mercedes he is better than Vettel

You have to look at Force India as basically the Mercedes/ Mclaren junior team

Curiously VJ has said he won't decide on Force India drivers until 15 Dec 2011 which means there could be movement within Mclaren and/or Mercedes affecting his drivers
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Back to Liuzzi...its only by reputation what he achieved in GP2 and karting that he is being highly rated. I did remember Liuzzi one time last year qualifying 24th!
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
How can he qualify 24th last year if the new teams where 3 seconds slower than the Force India? I think he had a problem with the car or was running the hard tyre, I very much doubt he was there on merit.
 
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