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The hardest point I've scored

Tonio Liuzzi
August 31, 2010
Tonio Liuzzi had a tough Belgian Grand Prix weekend © Getty Images
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I had to work harder for my point in Belgium than almost any other I can remember in my F1 career. It was a really crazy race and in the end I actually enjoyed the extra challenge of fighting back through the field, it was very satisfying after a tough weekend.

Spa is a great circuit and often has wonderful racing, but the weather helped the show and increased the fun for us. It started with a few spots of rain, which made for an intense first couple of laps, but then we had the safety car and finally the full wet conditions towards the end of the race. On one lap I saw big black clouds and told the team to get ready for the rain but on the other side of the circuit it was like a summer's day.

It was very tricky to make the right decision at the right time but, like I said, I enjoyed the challenge and the extra pressure mentally, especially when the difference between getting it right and wrong was so small. But unfortunately for us we had a few other problems to deal with and that dropped us down the order.

On the first lap we had a bit of contact with one of the drivers in front and it made a small hole in the nose of the car. I could immediately tell something was wrong but it wasn't until the first pit stop that the team actually saw the damage. As a result we were suffering a lot of rear graining and instability, and throughout the first and second stints we lost a lot of lap time. But despite that, I was pleased to be able to have a tough fight with Fernando Alonso and with Sebastian Vettel. I think that it shows that we never give up as a team.

In fact I was on for a really good result right up until the accident with Vettel. When he first came up behind me - before he had the drive-through penalty - he was driving really aggressively and I think he was pushing a bit too hard. He was trying everything to find a way past and I think he was a bit over the limit.

Tonio Liuzzi had a hard battle with Sebastian Vettel © Getty Images
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His car was so much faster than all the ones in the midfield that he could have just relaxed a bit and picked his moment to make a move. I guess he must be pretty stressed by the championship fight and was a long way down the order after his collision with Jenson Button. But I heard a lot of people saying he was out of control when he crashed into Jenson and I think he was too aggressive when he took me on. It was really an avoidable accident because I had already given up the position so he didn't need to cut back across my front wing. There was nothing more I could do.

There is always a lot of talk about punishments in these situations, but, in a way, he has damaged himself and his world championship position, so I think sometimes it is better to learn from your mistakes than to have a big discussion in front of everyone. Many times we talk and talk and go to the stewards over these things but there are always two arguments and you will always have some people who see it one way and others who see it differently.

After I pitted for a new nose we came back out in 13th and so we decided to gamble on extreme wet tyres when the rain came in. We gained three positions but it was pretty difficult to be competitive because the track was really suited to intermediates at the end. So we struggled for pace and finished 11th on the track, only to find out afterwards that we had been awarded the final point because Jaime Alguersuari cut the chicane as I was lining up a passing move on the penultimate lap.

Tonio Liuzzi drives through Eau Rouge in the wet © Getty Images
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But overall we can be pretty happy because we had a huge problem with top speed on Friday and Saturday and I was losing one second or more due to a problem with the F-duct. We found a solution just before qualifying but we had to dismantle the car and change a lot of the parts to get to the bottom of it. The team did such a good job to work night and day to give me the best possible car they could.

But ultimately I think we got a bit lost in the problem. The F-duct is such a complex item and even after qualifying it was not working 100%. It was still creating problems during the race and we were conscious right from the start that we would not be getting the very best from the car.

Next up I've got my home race and as always we really want to perform, especially after last year when I was running in the top six before I had a transmission problem. But it's not just because it's my home crowd that I want to do well, I also want to get the result we deserve this season. We have narrowly missed out on really good results for a number of reasons this year, so I want to pull it all together. And if it's at Monza, it's true that it will be even more satisfying.

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