Tonio Liuzzi's Helmet

Force India Announces Fisichella’s Replacement

by F1Fan on September 7, 2009

Force India has promoted Vitantonio (“Tonio”) Liuzzi to fill the vacant seat in car # 21, left empty by fisichella’s recent move to Ferrari.

Tonio Liuzzi

Tonio Liuzzi

Liuzzi an Italian has been acting as Force India’s test and reserve driver since the beginning of the 2008 race season. Prior to joining the team he raced for a season with Torro Rosso and the year earlier had a partial Season with Red Bull where he shared the second car with Christian Klien.

Earlier in his career, Liuzzi was successful in F3000 culminating in 2004 when he became champion jointly holding the record for most wins in a season, winning seven out of a possible 10 races along with two other well known names from Formula One, Juan Pablo Montoya and Nick Heidfeld.

Liuzzi has been waiting in the wings for another opportunity to gain a race seat in Formula One and Fisichella’s move to Ferrari has presented him with the opportunity he has been waiting for:

“I can’t wait to get back into the car in race trim, particularly at my home Grand Prix in Monza. I really appreciate the opportunity Vijay has given me, particularly now Force India now has a great car that’s performing very well. I am confident I can carry on our progress. I’m very motivated, I’m in good shape and hungry to get some more points on the board. Although it’s unfortunate that this came about as an direct result of Felipe’s accident, this is my opportunity to show people what I can do and I’m really looking forward to it.”

After evaluating the options available, Force India decided to promote Liuzzi rather than go with a younger driver from one of the feeder series. His prior F1 experience with over 39 Grand Prix starts and his familiarity with the Force India VJM02 chassis being important factors. Announcing Liuzzi’s promotion Dr Vijay Maliya, Force India Team Principal commented:

“I’m delighted to give Tonio the opportunity to get back into a race seat, which I know he has been itching to do for the past two years. Force India is now in a very competitive position and we need a driver who can continue this momentum. This will be the chance for Tonio to demonstrate to both the team and the field that he has the commitment, speed and professionalism to perform and I am sure he will seize this opportunity.”

It will be interesting to see how Tonio Liuzzi will perform at Monza later this week, a circuit who’s high speed and low down force nature tshouldby all accounts suit the handling and performance of the VJM02.

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