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Hitting the target

Tonio Liuzzi June 14, 2011

Tonio Liuzzi talks to ESPNF1 about his best result of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix and why he thinks the double DRS zone worked in Montreal

Tonio Liuzzi prepares for the start of the race © Sutton Images
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I'm really happy about the result because it's come at a good time of the year for us and it's pleased everybody involved with the team. We've been working hard over the previous races to achieve something like this, so I think we have to be proud of what we did and it's a beautiful feeling for me to be racing in the pack again.

When I saw the rain on Sunday morning I already had a good feeling about our chances and when I saw more raining coming midway through the race my feeling just got better and better because I knew it would make things even more unpredictable.

Everybody at the team did a really good job. The pit stop crew, the mechanics, the engineers - everybody made the right call at the right time. We worked symbiotically and I think that was the key for a good result.

Of course 70% of the result is down to the conditions, because we are all aware that in dry conditions 13th place would have been a really difficult target. All the cars are so reliable in modern F1 that it's difficult to achieve good results as a small team, but Canada was the kind of opportunity that we couldn't let slip and we went out there to get 100% out of it.

For sure, we also made a big step forward with upgrade on the car. We showed that Hispania is pushing hard to improve and it is now clear that we are fighting Virgin. We qualified ahead of them in dry conditions and we are positive that we can improve our performance in the future. It is difficult to say if we will be able to beat Lotus because there is still a lot of hard work to come and a long way to go, but that's still the target. I'm proud to be at the team because the Carabante family, our team principal Colin Kolles and everyone are really pushing and are committed to this target.

HRT ran a Canada-specific rear wing © Sutton Images
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People might be surprised to hear that we actually had a Montreal-specific package for the car, in terms of a low-drag rear wing. In previous years this is something that you would not expect from a small team, but it's further proof of our commitment. The other really important thing for us was the exhaust blowing system and we are really happy that it worked and gave us a good advantage. When you put that kind of thing on the car for the first time it never works 100%, but we are really positive that with a slightly better understanding of the system we can extrapolate a lot more lap time out of it.

Of course we cannot ignore the possible ban on those systems at Silverstone, but everybody is in the same boat and if they decide to ban it we'll have to find a way to improve the downforce in a different way. It is the same for everybody - the consequences will be bigger for some teams than they are for others - but a rule is a rule. We'll see what they will decide and what will happen. We are working on other development areas as well and we will bring other upgrades, so I'm not that worried if it is banned.

Looking ahead, for sure there will be some circuits where the car works better than others and where it is more linked to the style of the track. But I'm sure that from now on we will have pieces for every race; we have a little update for Valencia, we are working on something for Silverstone and I'm sure in Monza, for example, we will have a specific package with less drag. Every race we will be able to make a little bit of progress and that's really important for the motivation of the team and for the face of the team for the future.

Compared to last year the team is much more committed and we are working very hard to show that we are not just a backmarker team but one that wants to improve. It's important that everyone in the world can see that, because that attracts sponsors and that means we will continue to grow. The result in Montreal is just the first step on a long road.

Tonio Liuzzi is hoping for more good results at the coming circuits © Sutton Images
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One of the talking points for everybody over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend was the double DRS zone. I think it was a good idea and on the long straight in Montreal it gave a big advantage. We only got to use it when the track dried, but the good news is that it worked properly. We saw lots of overtaking and it allowed cars to close gaps. But it was still difficult to overtake because it was damp off the racing line and that added another challenge. I think everybody handled it pretty well and it was a positive thing for the grand prix.

Definitely the double DRS will help to improve the chances of overtaking in Valencia next weekend, which is often a circuit that is criticised for producing a processional race. But we saw some overtaking in Monaco this year, so I think that Valencia will be even better in that regard.

Our target will be to confirm that we are quicker than Virgin in qualifying and to close the gap to Lotus. It's also a home race for the team, which is always a good feeling, and I'm sure we will feel the passion of the crowd. The good news is that people are really supporting us in Spain and we are committed to making them feel proud.

Tonio Liuzzi gives his views at the end of every grand prix weekend

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Tonio Liuzzi gives his views at the end of every grand prix weekend Tonio Liuzzi has raced in Formula One since 2005, driving for Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force India before landing his latest seat at HRT for 2011. He has been an ESPNF1 columnist since 2010, giving a driver's insight into every race weekend