Vitantonio Liuzzi expects this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix to be a tougher challenge for him despite showing potentially podium-finishing pace on his Formula 1 comeback at Monza two weeks ago.
The Italian, who retired from the Italian Grand Prix with a driveshaft problem while on course for a certain top five finish, fears that the unfamiliar and floodlit Marina Bay circuit offers a new set of difficulties. Liuzzi has familiarized himself with the track using the McLaren-Mercedes simulator, available to Force India as part of its technical partnership with the McLaren operation, and he is eager to claim the points finish he was denied in his home grand prix.
"It won't be easy because I've never driven there," said Liuzzi. "We will try to have a good approach on Friday to learn the circuit and hopefully the car will be in good shape for the race so that we can fight for points.
"It will also be tougher for the whole team. It's a completely different downforce level and we might have more problems there to be fast."
Liuzzi believes that the 18 months he spent out of F1 racing – although he did keep his hand in with outings in A1GP and the Speedcar Series – have helped him to return a more hungry driver.
"What the 18 months away created in me was a lot of hunger inside," said Liuzzi. "Now I'm back in the car after suffering a lot in this period by not driving. So I don't want to jump away again – I want to drive and win races. It created for me a different state inside."
Liuzzi added that the relationship he has built up with Force India after joining the team when it evolved from Spyker to its current form ahead of 2008, was a very good one.
"I grew up with the team – it was a similar thing with Scuderia Toro Rosso," said Liuzzi. "I feel good in this team, we all grew up together after starting in 2008 and now we have reached this position of fighting for points.
"I feel really good. It's not just me, it's the whole team together and I really appreciate being in this position because we have some really good people here."