In unsurprising news, Force India has confirmed that third driver (or not-allowed-to-test driver, as you wish) Vitantonio Liuzzi will step in to replace Giancarlo Fisichella. Liuzzi last raced in F1 for Toro Rosso in 2007, and has completed two seasons (plus four races) in the sport. He has not driven an F1 car since November thanks to the much beloved testing ban, but remains confident that he can step in and help Force India build on their recent upswing in performance, as our (genuinely) beloved MBs discovered.
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 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.
FIF1 team boss Vijay Mallya is also confident that Liuzzi will stand up to the challenge.
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.
With three new teams coming into the sport, and Fisichella staying with the Scuderia as third driver next year, this really is a golden opportunity for Liuzzi to strut his stuff (on the track, I mean). Pity for the guy that he’s coming in relatively cold, but have a look at the latest Frantic F1 video if you want to find out about a cost-effective and entirely sensible solution to this problem.