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Liuzzi won't pay for HRT driveLaurence Edmondson February 23, 2011 « Money cost me my Virgin seat, claims di Grassi | Lauda takes championship lead with maiden home victory »
HRT's second driver will bring funding - Karthikeyan
'I've never paid for a drive and I cannot start now'
- Tonio Liuzzi
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."
Laurence Edmondson is an assistant editor on ESPNF1
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