Vitantonio Liuzzi remains confident about his chances of remaining with HRT in Formula 1 next season, despite speculation that he could be replaced by a paying driver.
With HRT having completed a deal with Pedro de la Rosa for 2012, there has been talk that Liuzzi's place could be under threat if the outfit needs to find a sponsor-backed driver to compete alongside him. But although admitting that there are no guarantees he will remain on board, despite having a long-term deal, Liuzzi insists he is not worried about the situation.
"We have not spoken about next year, but for me when I signed for the team I signed a longer term deal," Liuzzi said. "The way F1 is going it is quite crazy, because teams need money, and you can never be really relaxed. But I feel relaxed because I did the maximum to achieve the results this year – and it is because everyone did a good job that we have made progress this year. Now I don't see any big issue for next year – but you can never know."
Liuzzi is confident that HRT will be able to make a good step forward with its car for 2012, after conceding that development had stalled for a period this year after new owners came on board.
"In the first half of this season the team grew together and we made a big step forward – if you look at where we did not qualify at the first race to where we are now," he said. "So I have to say the team did a really good job to follow, to grow and our cooperation was really good. It is what we wanted to achieve this year.
"After a few things changed in the ownership we stepped back a little bit, and the development did not come as we wanted. But we have started working on 2012, so we hope it comes out as fast as we predict, and we are really positive about next year. Overall, everybody did a good job. I think everyone can be proud, and the team is happy."