After nine months which have seen 19 races take place in four continents, the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship has finally reached its end today after the completion of the final Grand Prix of the year in Brazil. The weather forecasts indicated rain but, in the end, it wasn’t to be and the race took place in dry conditions. Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo, who started from 21st and 22nd place, encountered problems at the start and lost their position but Liuzzi was able to overtake Glock before the first lap ended.
The times of the four drivers were quite similar so D’Ambrosio was able to maintain the gap ahead of both HRT’s throughout the whole race, leaving Liuzzi in 20th and Ricciardo in 21st. But ultimately an alternator failure put an end to the Italian driver’s bid at the final stages of the race. Having completed 61 of the 71 laps Liuzzi was unable to classify as Ricciardo finished in 20th.
“At the start my car went into anti-stall so when I dropped the clutch the car stopped and everyone passed me and, therefore, I was last coming into the first corner but then during the first lap I managed to make up for it. Everything went well in qualifying and during the race we had a good pace and competed well with the Virgins so it’s a great shame that I suffered an alternator failure towards the end which forced us to retire.
It’s unfortunate because we wanted to finish the season with a strong result. It’s a shame because we could have achieved it. Now we have to work hard for next year and try to recover from this problem and make up for it in the future because we need to be strong and competitive in every race”.
“The race was a bit up and down because the pace was a bit mixed. In the first stint for the first laps it seemed that I was quicker than Tonio and Glock but then a few laps later they were pulling away so it was hard to know if I was quicker or not. In the second stint we went with option tyres again and our pace wasn’t bad but I think we abused the tyres a bit too much and I had to pit a bit earlier for the primes because the tyres were finished. It took a few laps for the primes to start working but once they did the times were better than ever.
At that stage D’Ambrosio was too far in front but the positive thing for me was that I was able to continue producing good lap times towards the end of the race. It’s been a really good six months and I’m happy with how the season has gone, you always want a bit more but realistically it has been really good and I have learned a lot. I want to thank HRT and Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to come and do it”.
After yesterday's performance, we were hoping for a better race
Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
"After yesterday's performance, we were hoping for a better race. Neither Tonio nor Daniel had a good start and we lost the position to the Virgin but from there both drivers had a good pace throughout the race. The pit stops were also good but, unfortunately, we couldn't finish the race with both cars due to an alternator failure on Tonio's car at the final stages. It has been a hard and difficult season but I want to say thank you to Tonio, Narain and Daniel, but also all the mechanics and team personnel for their efforts and commitment to the team. I'm proud of them all”.
Weather: Maximum temperature: Air 26ºC, Track 47ºC - Sunny
Race: 71 laps
Track distance: 4.309 km
Vitantonio Liuzzi F111-001 #23 DNF
Daniel Ricciardo F111-002 #22 20th