Despite not having a blown rear diffuser for the British Grand Prix, Force India's Tonio Liuzzi remains confident that his team can continue with his point-scoring streak.
AUTOSPORT talked to the Italian ahead of the start of the weekend.
Q. Now that you are back on a more "normal" circuit, is this the weekend that you find out for sure that the straightline speed problem you previously had with this chassis is gone?
Vitantonio Liuzzi: Definitely. It's a circuit where everything should be real because it's the first proper circuit where you need downforce, you have long straights. You have a bit of everything like Barcelona where everyone goes testing because it's a proper circuit to understand things in the car. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I won't be in the car in FP1 but in FP2 I will try to see that everything is as we expected and as we saw in the last two races.
Q. Does what you've seen in the previous two races give you confidence that it will be OK?
VL: Yes. That's what we believe. The reason we changed from this chassis earlier this season was a lack of top-speed and it didn't appear to be a big problem in Montreal – it was very little – and in Valencia it wasn't there, so it shouldn't be a big problem. Everything is in the right direction.
Q. Force India has an aerodynamic upgrade this weekend. What do you expect from that?
VL: This is a circuit where downforce is the key, especially for the first sector. And the new part of the circuit also needs a lot of downforce. To bring updates here was very important. Some teams have the blown diffuser – we don't have that – but we brought some interesting updates in the front wing and the floor that should give us a decent step forward and help us to fight for points.
Q. What are the team's objectives for the second half of the season?
VL: We know our objectives for the season overall. We will fight to at least double the number of points that we have up to now because there are some interesting races coming in the next part of the championship where our car always showed strong performance. We are in good shape for the rest of the season. In Valencia we were fast, and it was not just being in the right place at the right moment for the pit stop that decided everything. We are positive that we still have good opportunities for the future.
Q. Have you tried simulations of the modified circuit?
VL: Yes. The team did a lot of simulation in the factory and we worked in the simulator yesterday to learn the new circuit and to do some setup tests. It's quite different. The downforce level will be a little different from the part and everything needs to be reviewed from the setup that you had in the past. It will be an interesting challenge. The bumps could be an issue for some of the teams because, in the new section, the track seems quite bumpy so that's something that could dominate the setup.
Q. Is the bump where the old track turns into the new section at Abbey, which was there when Formula 3 raced at the track a few months ago, a problem?
VL: It's still there, this bump, and that could be quite a big issue. In theory, you can go nearly flat in seventh or sixth gear and at that speed the bump could affect the car. It could be dangerous for an F1 car at that speed, but it's the same for everybody. We need to work on the ride heights for the bumps.
Q. How confident are you for this weekend?
VL: It's our home race and we have worked hard toward this grand prix. Since last year, we have worked a lot on downforce in this car and added a lot to the car. It is not one of our favorite races, but we can still be competitive enough to fight for points – that is always our target. We believe that we are in good shape. We brought some updates that should help us to compete with the other cars that have brought the blown diffuser.