Vitantonio Liuzzi will make his Formula 1 race debut with the Red Bull Racing team at the San Marino Grand Prix, 22-24 April. Liuzzi has been part of the Red Bull Junior Team since 2001 and is the reigning FIA F3000 champion. The 24 year old ...
Vitantonio Liuzzi will make his Formula 1 race debut with the Red Bull Racing team at the San Marino Grand Prix, 22-24 April. Liuzzi has been part of the Red Bull Junior Team since 2001 and is the reigning FIA F3000 champion.
The 24 year old Italian has been the team's Friday test and reserve driver at the first three Grand Prix of the season and will now partner David Coulthard in Imola, Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
The team has been extremely pleased with Christian's performance during the first three races, particularly his points scoring finishes in Australia and Malaysia. The 22 year old Austrian will continue to play an important role within the team during Tonio's three race trial being stood down so that Tonio also can experience Formula 1 in a racing environment.
An announcement regarding who will fill the role of Friday test driver at the San Marino GP will be made in due course.
"I am very happy to get this chance to race in Formula 1, which has always been my target since I started racing. It is particularly exciting for me to have my first race at my home Grand Prix in Imola. This is a great opportunity for me and of course, I hope to make the best of it."
"Christian has done a great job in the first three races and it is clear that our car has good potential. It will be great having to get up early on a Saturday and have something to do!"
"Coming into this season it was always made clear to me that Tonio would get his opportunity to race. I feel that I have done a good job in the first three races and I am pleased with my performance, qualifying no lower than seventh in all three races and scoring points in Australia and Malaysia."
"As a racing driver, of course I want to race and I am sure I will find it very difficult to watch from the pits. But I have always understood the reasons behind this strategy and I am comfortable with it. I wish Tonio the very best of luck and will do all I can to help him and the team."
"I know Christian will naturally be disappointed not to be driving in Imola, but he can be very satisfied with his 'coming of age' as a Formula 1 driver. As it was clear that they would be sharing the car from the start of the season, it makes sense for Tonio to make his debut in Imola, a track he knows and has won at in Formula 3000. I remember very well my Grand Prix debut and I look forward to sharing that special moment with him."
"We are very fortunate to have two extremely talented young Red Bull Junior drivers contracted to the team. However, 2005 is a building year for Red Bull Racing and the only way to see a driver's true potential is over the course of a full race weekend. Christian has performed faultlessly for the team during the first three events, culminating in two point scoring races."
"This decision is in no way a reflection on his ability, but simply an opportunity for the team to evaluate his counterpart and allow him to gain experience. During the next three races we will get a clear indication of Tonio's potential at three circuits where he won in F3000 last year."