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Liuzzi won't pay for HRT drive

Laurence Edmondson February 23, 2011 « Money cost me my Virgin seat, claims di Grassi | »
Tonio Liuzzi: "We'll listen in the next days to see what will happen" © Sutton Images
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Tonio Liuzzi is not prepared to pay for a Formula One drive this season.

He is currently in talks with HRT after losing his seat at Force India to Paul di Resta over the winter. Last season HRT favoured drivers with budgets and Narain Karthikeyan is bringing financial support to the team with his sponsor Tata this year. But Liuzzi insists he is not in a position to start paying for a place in F1.

"They would prefer a driver that brings money I guess, but it's not my case because I've never done it and I cannot start now," he told ESPNF1. "I bring my experience, my speed and I do my best for the team, that's for sure. The rest I would try to help as much as I could to find sponsors, but I cannot afford to pay to be a driver. I will put my 100% into the team as I always have done."

He added: "They're talking and looking quite good with some sponsors, so there could be good potential to increase the budget of the team and the development of the team for sure."

When asked if he would take a drive at HRT over a testing role at more established team, Liuzzi said: "It depends who the team is and on all the conditions and terms and the possibilities. Everything is critical at the moment in Formula One, a lot of things change monthly so we will see. At the moment nothing is decided, we're just having good talks and we'll listen in the next days to see what will happen."

Liuzzi is confident HRT can be more competitive in 2011, providing its plans for its new car come off.

"More competitive than last year? For sure. Competitive enough? I'm not sure," he said. "It's a question mark because everything is happening late, the new car is coming late and the budget is limited as well. It's all critical, but for sure they have got some interesting plans and if they happen it will be good."

Full interview with Tonio Liuzzi

Laurence Edmondson is an assistant editor on ESPNF1

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    Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1 Laurence Edmondson grew up on a Sunday afternoon diet of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell and first stepped in the paddock as a Bridgestone competition finalist in 2005. He worked for ITV-F1 after graduating from university and has been ESPNF1's deputy editor since 2010