• Tonio Liuzzi's ESPNF1 column

'It's easy to go from hero to zero'

ESPNF1 Staff
May 31, 2011
Tonio Liuzzi took his best finish of the season in 16th © Sutton Images
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I was pleased with my 16th place finish on Sunday, but of course I would have preferred to have a better Thursday and Saturday. It was a bit of a nightmare because we had a lot of issues with the car trying to find the right balance and we missed out on quite a lot of running after the accidents. The car was shaking a lot and bouncing a lot, and on a street circuit like Monaco we were struggling massively.

There were several crashes over the weekend and I think a number of factors contributed to that. The tyres were reacting differently compared to last year's Bridgestones, the balance of the car was difficult to find and the tarmac had got a bit worse this year. These problems are exacerbated for a small team like us because we don't have as much downforce on the car and it's not as pinned to the ground.

As for changes to the circuit next year, it's something that has already been discussed in a meeting and I think we will do something. But Monaco is one of our favourite circuits because of the way it is and I'm sure it will still be good whatever they do next year. Either way we always love to go racing there.

Looking at my race, I think the strategy was very good and we were lucky to be in the right place at the right times with safety cars, tyres and pit stops. I think the team did a good job in terms of reading the race and we made the right calls when they were needed. From the start of the race we had an issue with the power steering and that meant I had more friction in the left-hand corners than the right-hand corners. It also meant the car was unbalanced, making the race really, really tough with the car acting differently from one corner to the next. From lap to lap I learned how to live with it and, most importantly, I managed to keep it away from the walls.

Of course the other thing I had to keep in the back of my mind was letting the faster cars through under blue flags. I was seeing blue flags for most of the race and that's pretty tough. In fact, I think it's probably tougher than when you are leading because you have to take in so many things at once while looking in your mirrors and making sure you don't ruin the race for anybody else. But we can't complain, because that's the way it is and I have to say I think we did a pretty good job without losing too much time in my own race.

Tonio Liuzzi stayed out of trouble on Sunday © Getty Images

But while I was making it as easy as possible for the cars lapping me, there were plenty of competitive battles going on up and down the field for position. When you try to make an overtaking move in Monaco you have to remember 80% of the time it doesn't work. It's all too easy to go from hero to zero because the difference between passing successfully and losing your front wing in a collision can be as thin as a cigarette paper. I think this year we saw a much more challenging race because a lot of people tried the overtaking and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. But we are racers and we have to try as hard as we can until the race is over. I'm pretty sure that people watching at home enjoyed the racing on Sunday and ultimately that's what we're here to provide.

Next up is Canada and we'll definitely get another interesting race after what happened there last year. Montreal is well known for having difficult tarmac that produces a lot of marbles and makes the tyres fall apart. I think with these new tyres it will be a challenge with the marbles, especially when you pick up. It looks like we are going to have two DRS zones and I'm all for that because all the teams have spent time developing the DRS so why not use it? It should improve the show and it will be interesting to see how people use it.

Last year the Canadian Grand Prix was one of my better races. This season I'm in a different battle. Once again the target will be to prove that we are catching Virgin and becoming more competitive overall.