• Tonio Liuzzi's exclusive column

'He didn't leave enough space into the corner'

Tonio Liuzzi
July 26, 2010
Tonio Liuzzi: "We needed something like a safety car to help us" © Sutton Images

It was a pretty disappointing German Grand Prix and it was even more frustrating because it all went wrong right from the start. On the first lap I had contact with my team-mate Adrian Sutil in turn 3 and that damaged my nose cone quite badly.

His strategy was to pit straight away for hard tyres and as a result I had to queue for my repairs while his car was serviced. Unfortunately the team then made a mistake with the tyres, putting one of mine on his car and one of his on mine. Once we got back out they realised what had happened and we had no option but to pit again to correct the problem. Of course after you pit twice in the first few laps the rest of the race is screwed.

It's a shame because once we were out there on the correct tyres and lapping in clean air we actually had a very strong race. We were probably quick enough to be somewhere between seventh and tenth position, but because of the problems you'd never have known. We needed something like a safety car to help us but on this occasion nothing happened and we couldn't make the ground up.

Looking back at the contact between me and Adrian I would class it as a racing incident, but one that maybe could have been avoided. At the start I passed him around the outside in turn 2 so that I was on the inside into turn 3, which then leads onto the long straight.

Basically, he didn't leave enough space to go side-by-side into the corner and closed the door, which resulted in the contact between the front right of my car and the left side of his. It's a shame because all he had to give me was another half metre and both of us could have gone onto the straight without any problems.

We didn't discuss it too much afterwards but in Hungary we will talk a little bit about how we should handle this kind of situation. Our team has shown that there is no No. 1 driver and that we always race for the team over ourselves.

Contact is something that for sure shouldn't happen, but when you have got two drivers that are fighting for position it's sometimes unavoidable. I think we also have to look at what happened in the pits, because there must have been a miscommunication between us and the team.

Tonio Liuzzi: "Once we were out there on the correct tyres and lapping in clean air we actually had a very strong race" © Sutton Images
I've been asked if I'm worried about my seat after three races without points, but to be honest I'm not. It is definitely not the first time I have heard speculation about my position and I try to ignore it. I don't know where these rumours start but I don't really mind because in F1 it is normal that on TV and in the papers there is always a lot of speculative information flying around.

I don't really care about it because I know that my position at Force India is pretty clear and they have never given any sign that they want to move on in a different way. I'm fully supported by the team and have got a long-term deal with them.

They will make a driver announcement later in the season, but because I know what's in my contract I'm not worried. I can't stop people talking and there are many times when you say something to a journalist and then they make a big story around it. But I'm used to that now and I just concentrate on my job.

Of course, most of the attention of the media after Sunday's race was focused on Ferrari and what happened between their drivers on track. I think, in a way, every team implements team orders at some point but I suppose it isn't always so obvious. The FIA now needs to decide one way or another about the rules and come down hard on one side.

If they decide that it was wrong then they have to be really aggressive with the punishment but if they decide it is happening anyway in F1 then they have to open up the rules for everybody. Personally I prefer the ban on team orders but then they have to be stronger with the penalty.

But Ferrari certainly aren't cheats. That is not the right word for them because it depends on the wider situation and how it's been handled. They needed to take a decision - it's not about cheating or not - and the sport just needs to be clearer about what people can do under the regulations.

Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix, I'm a little concerned we might suffer a bit because the track doesn't completely suit our car. But having said that, the set-up is quite similar to Monaco and we did much better there than we thought we would. So that makes us feel a little bit more positive and, as always, we will be aiming for points.

Longer term, we are really looking forward to Spa and Monza because they are two circuits where we feel the car will give 100%. We took pole in Belgium last year and I made my comeback in Italy and qualified seventh. In the mean time I'm remaining focused on Hungary and I'm really happy I can get back in the car straight away for another race this weekend.