An outstanding drive from Tonio Liuzzi in today's Korean Grand Prix yielded sixth position and a further eight points for the Force India F1 Team, extending its tally in the constructors' championship to 68. Starting from 17th on the grid the ...
An outstanding drive from Tonio Liuzzi in today's Korean Grand Prix yielded sixth position and a further eight points for the Force India F1 Team, extending its tally in the constructors' championship to 68. Starting from 17th on the grid the Italian drove a controlled race in the ever-evolving conditions to move up 11 positions and secure his first points finish since the Belgian Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil retired from the race on lap 47 after damaging his suspension in an accident with Kamui Kobayashi.
The Yeongam track was drenched by rain throughout the morning and after several delays the inaugural race was started under the safety car as visibility and track conditions were deemed too poor. It was certainly not the last time it would be deployed and Tonio was able to benefit from the final safety car to pit for intermediate tyres. He then moved into the top ten and despite heavy tyre wear in the closing stages of the race was able to move past Hulkenberg and Barrichello and secure sixth position, his highest finish since the Canadian Grand Prix.
Conditions were pretty tough throughout the race and it was the right decision to start behind the safety car. When the track dried a bit I made a pit stop and tried to do the whole race on the intermediate tyres. I was just struggling with my brakes all the time. I had so much brake force that I always locked up and it was hard to drive consistently. There were a lot of times I was off the circuit, or locked up, and then got past a driver and went off the road. In the end I tried to overtake Kobayashi but lost the car on a patch that was a bit more wet than I expected and went into the side of him. I'm not happy with my performance, it was not a good race for me personally, but I'm pleased that the team did well with Tonio and the sixth position. I'll now be looking forward to the next race in Brazil.
What a crazy race today, a bit like Australia back at the start of the year, and it was very fun to be out there. It was the right decision to delay the start as there was so much water on the track. Unfortunately we had to do a lot of laps behind the safety car after that but the track was so slippery that it was really hard under braking. Then at the end it was like a night race without any lights and the steering wheel lights were so bright it was almost dazzling! Even though there was so little grip I was able to get into a good rhythm and get a great result for the team. After all the bad luck we've had in this part of the year it's brilliant to be back in business and up there in the points again, extending our advantage over Williams and setting ourselves up well for the last two races.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal:
I don't think I've ever seen a race quite like this one! We said it would be an interesting one and the constantly changing conditions threw up all sorts of challenges. It was a great performance by Tonio today as he kept his head and raced hard until the finish. It can't have been easy in the failing light and on a damp track on worn tyres but he did brilliantly to secure those crucial points. Adrian had a much more difficult race. He feels he didn't do himself justice, but I'm sure he'll come back stronger in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Overall however a great team performance and a real boost for us going into the final double header of the year.