Liuzzi to change chassis in Canada as FIF1 plays more with F-duct

It looks like Tonio Liuzzi is getting a solid opportunity to prove his worth at Force India.

The driver, who has slid steadily back down the grid most of the season, will be using the chassis he drove during the first four races after the team discovered his current one had some damage.

Here’s what he had to say:

We’ve put in some long hours at the factory and found some minor damage on the chassis that we picked up in Monaco. We thought we had fixed it but as a precaution we are switching back to the chassis I used in the first four races. We’ll look at the chassis again back in the factory and see if we can find any other areas we need to address.

The team also will continue to test its version of the F-duct, which it has dubbed the switchable rear wing, or SRW.

Team boss Vijay Mallya explains:

Looking forward to Canada, I firmly believe we’re still in good shape. We have some more development parts coming for this race, including some new aero parts for the low downforce configuration, and we are testing the switchable rear wing (the SRW) further on both cars this weekend. Tonio will also revert back to the chassis used for the first four races as we continue to look into why he’s got the lack of grip. But both the drivers like the track, and on a personal and professional level I’m delighted to be going back there. It’s great for Formula 1 to be back in North America, which has been conspicuous in its absence as it’s such a big market and it opens up new doors for sponsors and marketing activities.

As a result, reserve driver Paul di Resta won’t be getting any time in the car, which definitely hurts speculation — including around here — that he could be replacing Liuzzi. I still say dropping a Scot into the car for the British Grand Prix seems a logical PR move, at least.

Here’s Adrian Sutil on the SRW and Canada:

The SRW was a development item in Turkey and we didn’t use it on my car in qualifying or the race as we didn’t get enough information on it after the various issues we had in practice. It’s a really good system for me as I can use it without taking my hands off the steering wheel and once we introduce it long-term it will be very easy to use. We saw on Tonio’s car that it gave a big improvement, so if we can use it on my car it will be a real step forward. We will test it some more in Canada and hopefully get some good data together.

You’ve had a good run of points this year, with Turkey being your fourth points scoring position of the year. How much does that have an effect?

I’m feeling relaxed at this point in the season now, more so than I’ve ever felt since coming into F1. I’ve got a good car and a good team of people around me and it’s much nicer to go into a race weekend thinking you can fight for the points. Last year was just the start, we were generally Q2 and hoping to beat a few cars; this year we’re able to get into the top five and even then we’re still looking for more. If you have a good car you’re mentally much stronger, happier and more confident and when you’re happier you drive faster. I think it’s a real achievement for us to be at this stage as we’re still a very small team, one of the smallest on the grid, but we’re still achieving great results. The best thing is also that we still have some more to come in terms of developments. We’re definitely still pushing very hard.

The team does give di Resta one quote in this race preview, so it definitely is not dropping him from the public mind:

I’m not driving this time out in Canada as Adrian and Tonio need some more time in the car. It’s been a couple of years since they’ve driven at the track and, as it’s such a specific track with the low downforce and tight hairpins, they will benefit from some extra track time to refamiliarise themselves. Also we’ve got some more work to do on the SRW. I’m comfortable with sitting out the session as I’ll be back out in Valencia. As usual I’ll be participating in the meetings and walking the track – I’ve never been to Montreal so the experience will be good. During the sessions I sit on the pit wall to listen into the discussions but also to help with spotting and any feedback the team might need. I’m feeling really integrated and even when I’m not driving there’s still plenty I can contribute.

Tonio offers up the big what-if, I think, for the weekend:

I don’t think we lost as much ground to Renault in Turkey as it might have seemed and I think and Adrian showed that we still have a top ten package over a full race distance. If I can get the grip I need I hope I’ll be back knocking on the door of Q3 and in the hunt for points. As we’ve seen before Canada is pretty unpredictable and if we are up at the front we could get some really decent points, hopefully another double points finish, which will be good for the team at this stage.

Renault, of course, is trying to leap frog Mercedes. Anyone think Force India can nip on either team’s heels?

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