Archive for the ‘Preview’ Category


Hispania Racing announce Liuzzi as their 2nd driver

March 9, 2011

Barcelona, 09 March 2011

Hispania Racing is pleased to announce that Vitantonio Liuzzi will take part in the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship as its second driver. With this appointment, the Spanish team’s line-up is complete for the upcoming season with the Italian driver joining Narain Karthikeyan behind the wheel of the F111.

The Italian driver started making a name for himself in the late nineties, emerging as one of the brightest talents in world karting. Evidence of this showed in 2001 when he claimed the prestigious FIA/CIK World Karting Championships. Alongside this title, Tonio finished in a remarkable second position in the 2001 German Formula Renault Championships.

In 2004, Liuzzi stepped up to F3000 where he stormed to the championship in a season that included seven wins out of ten races. This impressed Red Bull Racing who signed him up as its test and reserve driver for the 2005 season. He got his first taste of competitive Formula One that same year when he replaced Klien for the San Marino, Spanish and Monaco Grand Prix. Tonio showed his potential by scoring his maiden point (8th place) on his debut at San Marino.

In 2006 and 2007, the Italian raced for Toro Rosso achieving his highest ever placing: 6th at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix. Liuzzi moved on to Force India where he stayed from 2008 to 2010. With the Indian team, Liuzzi equalled his best finish of 6th at the 2010 Korean Grand Prix and ended the 2010 championship in 15th scoring 21 points, a career best.

After testing for Hispania Racing in Barcelona in February, Liuzzi will again be at the helm of the F111 in March’s Barcelona tests and will make his debut for the team at the Australian Grand Prix later this month.

Colin Kolles, Hispania Racing Team Principal: “I have known Tonio for many years as he raced with me in lower categories. He is a very professional driver who will bring a lot of benefits to the Team. I am convinced about his skills to develop a car and his speed. He has shown this in the past having contributed to a large extend developing and moving a back grid car to the front. I had the pleasure of working with him and I am very happy and proud to have him racing with Hispania Racing.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Hispania Racing driver: “I am really happy to have signed this agreement with Hispania Racing. I never lost hope to be in Formula One as I knew I have the experience and the right attributes for a young and ambitious team. I face a new challenge now and this excites me. I also face a lot of hard work in guiding Hispania Racing through the development of our new car. I am extremely grateful to José Ramon Carabante and to Colin Kolles for giving me such an opportunity”.


Chinese torture

April 12, 2010

The most complicated race on the calendar to date is China. The amount of red tape everybody has to wade through is incredible and unique to this race. As a photographer I’m categorised as a journalist and the Chinese government do not like ‘western’ journalists. A few weeks before the race the FIA give the Chinese a list of people who wish to attend, we then have to goto the visa issuers (not the embassy in the UK) and be interviewed. About a week later, if we are lucky, we will be granted a visa. As an apparent policy a large percentage of us will be refused for no reason.
So last week on the day I got back from Malaysia I headed into London to hand over a pile of paper and my passport. I’m in the very fortunate position of having dual nationality, if I didn’t there is no way I’d ever get a visa. Due to ‘non-naughty’ reasons I’m persona non gratia on my British passport especially as a journalist.
So I ‘passed’ my interview and waited for my visa which I was due to collect today. I made the trek back to holborn only to find my passport hasn’t come back from the embassy and the visa isn’t showing up on the system. I’m meant to be on a plane tomorrow morning, but not any longer. I’ve been told that the Chinese do not officially refuse visas, what they do is issue them, but too late to be used. It looks like that’s the position I’m now in.
All of this means that I’m not going to china for the race. So I’ll be watching the tellybox with the rest of you. For those that don’t already know there will be no Twitter updates from china due the ‘great firewall of china’ so it’s going to be a quiet race.


On my way to Melbourne

March 23, 2010

So I’m sitting in the Emirates lounge at heathrow once again about to head off for 24 hours in an oversized tin can. Several extra spicy bloody marys help to bring on an early sleep aided by my little boy who woke me up just after 5 this morning to say ‘I love you daddy and I miss you when you’re at the aye ayes”. I can forgive him for the alarm call after that (the aye ayes are so named because of the Moby bumpers used by ITV during their F1 coverage.

Back to the upcoming race. The forecast is for some showers over the weekend so the race might actually be interesting, but I’m not holding my breath. We should get a couple of safety car periods which might also spice things up.

Hopefully I will have a better Internet connection than I had in Bahrain so I’ll be able to get tweets and photos out.

Enjoy the race however you are following it.


AT&T Williams Bahrain Preview

March 9, 2010

Sam Michael, Technical Director
The FW32 completed almost 7,000kms during winter testing with the new Cosworth engine installation. We have made great progress on reliability and we’re still working on improving that, albeit at high mileages that we shouldn’t encounter during race weekends.
Performance has been solid throughout the test sessions, but Bahrain will tell us where we are. We tested the majority of our Bahrain race package while in Barcelona, while a couple of additional parts will go straight to the race. Rubens and Nico will also go through their first race weekend as teammates. Signs from winter testing are that they’ll push each other all the way!

Rubens Barrichello
I’m delighted to be entering my eighteenth season. I’m so motivated and I’m in a much better physical condition than I have been at any other time. I’m also really happy to be driving for AT&T Williams. I’ve settled in well, and I already feel like I’ve been here five years!
We covered a lot of miles with the car during winter testing, working on reliability during the first few tests and then some upgrades for Bahrain at the final two. In terms of set-up, reliability and drivability of the engine, we’ve done a good job. The car has improved a lot and the team have done well preparing me so I’m completely familiar with everything heading into the first race.
I think we’re strong, I’m optimistic, but it is very hard to draw a conclusion as to where we are so I’m going to wait and see. It’s going to be a fantastic season with the new teams, the new drivers and the new regulations.

Nico Hülkenberg
Being a Formula One driver is a great feeling and I’m very excited about going to Bahrain. I learnt a lot as the team’s test driver, which has prepared me well for the season ahead. Working in the factory has also helped give me more of a technical understanding of the car, it won’t make me quicker, but it will help me with set-up.
Winter testing was good for us. Having completed a good amount of mileage, we are well placed going into the season. The Cosworth engine is also looking strong; it’s powerful and reliable. We have potential, but we have to wait to see where the competition is. It’s going to be an exciting season and I can’t wait to start it!