HRT press release
Vitantonio Liuzzi brought his HRT F1 car home in 19th position in today’s Belgian Grand Prix while 22-year-old Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo could not complete the fourth race of his F1 career. Starting from 23rd on the grid, the Australian driver had to retire during the safety car period after feeling unusual vibrations and realising that something was wrong on the rear left side of the car. This is Daniel Ricciardo’s first retirement.
“We knew it would be a complicated race, especially in dry conditions, but I made a good start and gained a few positions quickly. We were ahead of our main rivals and, even though we knew beforehand that our pace wasn’t the best, we kept on fighting. I think we did a pretty good job, especially in the first stint of the race. We’ve improved on car set-up and race pace with respect to Friday’s practice sessions which were also in dry conditions. But we’ve still got work to do to prove that we can progress from here until the end of season. The next race in Monza will be special for me because I will be racing at home, so I’m really looking forward to it. We still have to work hard this week though, because it is a very technical circuit”.
“I can’t be fully satisfied because it has been a short race for me but at least the time I was out there was really positive. I made a good start and then benefited from some incidents ahead but also made the right choice which let me pick up a few spots. The pace was quite good, a few of the faster cars ended up coming back through but we let them go without losing much time with our direct rivals. It was looking quite good ahead of the Virgins and Lotus. Unfortunately we had a problem with the rear which made us end the race prematurely. But there is no doubt that there are some positives to take. It would have been nice to finish but we’ve always got next time. From my side I’m happy with how the race was going and we will try to build on it for the next Grand Prix in Monza”.
We were aiming at a two car finish, but it was not the case
Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
“This was a weekend where we needed thick skin to cope with all the problems that we encountered. We knew that Spa would be difficult. We were aiming at a two car finish, but it was not the case. It is a pity that Daniel was forced in to the first retirement of his F1 career and we must now work very hard to solve the issues. Let’s look to Monza which requires a different aerodynamic configuration”.
Weather: Overcast - Air 19ºC, Track 27ºC
Race: 44 laps
Track distance: 7.004 km
Vitantonio Liuzzi - F111-002 #23- 19th
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-003 #22- DNF