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Liuzzi wants tougher action on qualifying traffic
Tonio Liuzzi has called for the stewards to enforce penalties on cars that hold others up in qualifying, after he was knocked out of Q1 in China.
With 24 cars on the track in the first session of qualifying this year, drivers have to time their lap to perfection to ensure it is not ruined by traffic. In his exclusive column for ESPNF1, Liuzzi questioned why the stewards were not taking action against drivers who block others' fast laps, as they had done in previous seasons.
"For the third time this year I got stuck in traffic during qualifying and that ruined my lap," he said. "We really need to look at the problem of slow cars holding others up, because in the past the stewards used to be quite vigilant about this. This year they seem to let it go a lot more but it is like the referee's decision in football, you cannot argue with it. Maybe in the next few races I will put police lights on my car, because it seems every time I go out in qualifying nobody sees me coming in their mirrors."
He added that the situation was only going to get worse at tighter tracks and, that while the new teams could be excused on some occasions, the drivers with more competitive cars had to be held to account.
"We've got 24 cars going round in Q1 now, so you can imagine in places like Monaco it's going to be a complete mess," Liuzzi said. "For the most part the problem is with the HRTs, Virgins and Lotuses because they are so much slower it is difficult for them to handle the traffic. But many times I have got stuck behind a Williams and I think there is no excuse for that. There is no quick fix to this problem but I think drivers need to use the mirrors more and the stewards need to clamp down on those that don't. For sure, me and my team will look at why it keeps happening to us and we will do that starting at the next race."