Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Liuzzi + Force India = good?

Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi has told Italian newspaper Autosprint he thinks his race seat for next year is 'safe', despite threats from both test driver Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenburg, who is looking for a seat after being dumped from the Williams team. Although he has a contract for next year, the pressure is on for him to show his worth after an ordinary 2010. The question is: would keeping Liuzzi be a good move?

His 2010 season was one which despite starting well, seemed to end up failing to fulfil many people's expectations, with good points finishes in Australia and Korea being devalued by some rather poor qualifying performances, with the Italian struggling to get the car out of the first qualifying session on some occasions, and crashing unnecessarily, such as in the last two races of the year in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. For a team that was supposed to be moving up into the midfield, it got somewhat stuck in a rut, with performances alternating between good and terrible. But the problems were mainly to do with the car's lack of development over the year, and as a result this meant both drivers ended up struggling, so it could be quite easy to let Liuzzi off for some of the poor performances.

Even so, with two young drivers on the way, it may well be a good idea to let Liuzzi go, particularly as his comparatively long career has not yielded as much success as could be provided by the other two choices. Di Resta in particular has proven to be a reliable and solid tester for the team this season, which could help him appear more favourable to boss Vijay Mallaya if Liuzzi were ever to go, and Hulkenburg's form this season was good even before his stunning pole position in Brazil, that certainly put him on the map for the first time. But with neither driver having had much experience of racing under the belt, and Hulkenburg making some rather amateurish mistakes this season, it may well be a step too far to allow them to compete fully with their team mates, something which may impact both of them greatly were they to get the drive. Liuzzi, on the other hand, has shown himself to be capable of dealing with team-mate Adrian Sutil this season- surely a plus point.

Overall, I think it would be worth Force India's while to keep Tonio Liuzzi for another season, as he's proven to be quite a capable driver for the team, if not entirely spectacular. For Liuzzi's sake, it would be the best move as well- with only one drive at a semi-good team left, there's no real option for Liuzzi to do anything but stay with the team and allow their relationship to grow, as this is a team and driver partnership that is certainly capable of doing good things if the car and the driver both work at their best.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Tom Walkinshaw: 1946-2010

Apologies for the delay in posting. The last month has began to fill with coursework and other college-related work, so I haven't been able to spend enough time here as I would ideally want to. What with the end of the F1 season and the crowning of Sebastian Vettel as World Champion, it wasn't the best of times for this to happen. Nevertheless, now everything's out of the way, I will make sure I get back to posting properly from now on in.

Today's news in motor sport as a whole was dominated by the sad death of TWR founder and sometime Benetton/Ligier/Arrows F1 boss Tom Walkinshaw yesterday from cancer at the age of 64.