Tonio Liuzzi  Italy

  • Full name Vitantonio Liuzzi
  • Birth date August 6, 1980
  • Birthplace Locorotondo, Italy
  • Current age 40 years 167 days
  • Height 1.78 m
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Teams HRT, Racing Point, Red Bull, Toro Rosso
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
2005 Red Bull 4 4 0 0 2 8 0 0 11 0 0 1 24
2006 Toro Rosso 18 18 0 0 14 8 0 0 12 0 0 1 19
2007 Toro Rosso 17 17 0 0 10 6 0 0 11 0 0 3 18
2009 Racing Point 5 5 0 0 4 11 0 0 7 0 0 0 -
2010 Racing Point 19 19 0 0 12 6 0 0 6 0 0 21 15
2011 HRT, Caterham 18 17 0 0 12 13 0 0 20 0 0 0 -
Total 81 80 0 0 54 6 0 0 6 0 0 26
Race Circuit Date
First race San Marino Grand Prix Imola April 24, 2005 Race results
Last race Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos November 27, 2011 Race results
© Sutton Images

In his youth he was widely regarded as one of the top karters of his generation. He won the karting world championship in 2001, beating Michael Schumacher at the German's home track in Kerpen on his way to victory, before quickly rising through the lower formula.

It was F3000 where he found his niche, taking best-rookie honours in an impressive season in 2003. Pole position at Hungaroring was the highlight as Liuzzi out-qualified his nearest competitor by half a second having only completed nine laps at the circuit in his career. In 2004 he won the championship outright, with victories at seven of the ten races - a record only matched by Juan Pablo Montoya and Nick Heidfeld.

Formula One was the next logical step and in 2005 he shared a Red Bull race seat with Christian Klien. Liuzzi got just four races at the start of the season compared to Klien's 13 and picked up one point in his brief stint. Klien stayed on at Red Bull in 2006 and Liuzzi was given a full race seat at junior team Toro Rosso alongside Scott Speed. The car was cobbled together with a year-old chassis and a restricted V10 engine (every other car had an unrestricted V8), but he out-performed Speed and scored the outfit's only point of the season.

For 2007 Toro Rosso used the same chassis as Red Bull and an up-to-date V8 engine. Sebastian Vettel joined the team halfway through the season and soon got the best out of the car, giving Liuzzi a real run for his money.

2008 saw him take a test driver role at Force India and he didn't race again until 2009 when he replaced Giancarlo Fisichella, who had been recruited by Ferrari to sub for the injured Felipe Massa. His best performance was at his home race at Monza, but it was cruelly cut short by transmission failure after he looked locked on for a points finish.

He stayed at the team in 2010 but came under pressure after a series of accidents which weren't always his fault. He also struggled with a number of problems with his chassis, making his performances look below par compared to team-mate Adrian Sutil. He had a contract for 2011 but Force India was keen to promote test driver Paul di Resta and it soon became clear that Liuzzi would have to make way.

It seemed his time in Formula One was over but he was thrown a lifeline, albeit not the most robust one, by HRT on the eve of the 2011 season. He helped the team recover from a poor start to overhaul Virgin by the end of the season, securing the crucial 13th place in the delayed Canadian Grand Prix. While his value as team leader was clear, new owners came in during the season and preferred a Spanish line-up, meaning Liuzzi was relegated to third driver in favour of Pedro de la Rosa despite having a contract in place for 2012.

Strengths and Weaknesses
He's a quick driver over one lap but has yet to live up to the prodigous talent he showed in karting.

Career High
Scoring a point in his debut race in front of home fans at Imola.

Career Low
Crashing in his second and third races with Red Bull.

"I would like to drive a car from the 50s or 60s with my shoulders out of the cockpit. I think that was the time when they were real racers - they had balls and not so many cares about traction control or electronics."

"I think some people expected me to become an asshole when I got into Formula One but I think that I kept myself true and I'm really proud that everybody realised this."

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