Minardi never achieved a podium finish in its two decades in Formula One but in its new incarnation as Scuderia Toro Rosso, Tonio Liuzzi is aiming to rectify that. The flamboyant Italian enters his first full season racing in F1 with Toro Rosso in...
Minardi never achieved a podium finish in its two decades in Formula One but in its new incarnation as Scuderia Toro Rosso, Tonio Liuzzi is aiming to rectify that. The flamboyant Italian enters his first full season racing in F1 with Toro Rosso in 2006 after his third driver role with Red Bull last year and competing in four races for the team.
"My target for the season is trying to get a podium," said Liuzzi at the Autosport International show in Birmingham. "We don't know if we are ready to win races, because we don't know the level of the car, but we will fight hard and prepare for 2007."
A bold ambition, perhaps, considering Minardi was never far from the back of the grid. However, since Red Bull bought the team and renamed it Toro Rosso, the little Italian squad now has the resources and personnel that Liuzzi hopes will move it onwards and upwards.
"It is a long-term programme, everything is going to be new and it is really a big challenge for me and Red Bull and for all the team," he said. "Now they have got the right budget, the right people behind them and they are trying to push this team up into the top of the league."
"It won't be easy but we are fighting hard already, it is two months since Toro Rosso was born and we are working hard preparing the car for this year. The new car will be ready in a couple of weeks."
Toro Rosso is currently testing in the Red Bull RB1 chassis with the restricted Cosworth V10 engine. It's expected that Toro Rosso will be the only team running the restricted V10 in competition this season -- some believe the V10 will have an advantage over the V8 but Liuzzi doesn't think so.
"Many teams with the V8 are worried by the V10," he remarked. "At the end of the day we can be reasonably competitive, but the V8 will get the maximum out of the engine and the detuned V10 will not be as strong as the V8. In the tests until now it seems that the V8s are already getting some good power out of them. Let's wait and see what happens in Bahrain."