Vitantonio Liuzzi finally has a chance to prove his skills in 2010, after being handed a full-season deal with Force India.
Having got himself back up to racing speed at the end of last year, after replacing Giancarlo Fisichella from the Italian Grand Prix, Liuzzi is bullish about his prospects for the season ahead.
Q. It's finally a chance to get a full race season under your belt for the first time since 2007. What are your thoughts on this?
Vitantonio Liuzzi: After one and a half years in a test role, I feel really prepared, both physically and mentally for a full race season. My objective is to be as strong and consistent as possible and give good feedback to the team to help them improve. For sure scoring points as many times as I can is going to be the key and you never know, perhaps we can get something more as well if everything comes together.
Q. How would you review your five races in 2009? What did you learn?
VL: It was a great opportunity to learn the tracks and then get back to the rhythm of a F1 car. I was a bit disappointed with some races, but we knew that the car would suit Monza much better than the other types of circuit. We had a bit of bad luck as well, like qualifying in Brazil when I aquaplaned off. Although it was difficult to score points, it was important for me to show that when the car is performing well I am ready to bring the results in and I'm always the same, fast competitive driver I've always been. It was a good warm up for 2010.
Q. Do you feel this time round as a racer you're approaching it differently?
VL: In Force India I feel really good, the atmosphere is great and the team works well together. Even when I was in a difficult position last year as a test driver they were very supportive and I've built a good strong relationship with them. I feel like I'm in a family and for sure much better environment than I have been in the past. This year is a new start for me. I'm a different person from two years ago and I am approaching it from a different mentality. It's a different Tonio and I'm looking forward to what can come. I'm still young and have a lot of time in front of me so I just want to prove what I can do.
Q. Do you feel confident in the VJM03?
VL: I have to say that the team, looking at what we did last year, has done a fantastic job. They never stopped working on the 2009 car to push right to the end, but have been flat out for 2010 as well. I am really confident in the work they have done over the winter and we've built a car that can regularly be in the points. That's also my aim, plus to be more consistent and competitive throughout the whole season.
Q. With the new teams coming in, Force India won't be the smallest team on the grid any more. Is this an advantage?
VL: Yes, this is an advantage for us as we know how to operate on smaller levels that the bigger teams will have to get used to, while the new teams have a tough job to do. I think it will be a good season for us.