Liuzzi: Points possible for HRT
|By Edd Straw||Thursday, March 24th 2011, 04:00 GMT|
Vitantonio Liuzzi believes that it could be possible to score points on his debut for Hispania if the team can make its new car reliable ahead of Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
The HRT F111 was unveiled at the final Barcelona test earlier this month, but will not run for the first time until Friday's first free practice session in Melbourne.
"There is always a chance," said Liuzzi when asked by AUTOSPORT whether he felt that he could score points if he makes the finish. "It seems that there are some teams struggling quite a bit for reliability, so seeing the chequered flag will be the most important thing for us.
"If there's a bit of rain or a chaotic race like last year's or in previous years, we have a good chance. It's really important for us to understand how the car reacts and to finish the race."
Despite not having run before, Liuzzi believes that running the proven package of a Cosworth engine and a 2010-specification Williams gearbox should mitigate any reliability problems.
"I'm not worried about reliability," said the Italian. "Last year, the team showed really good performance in terms of reliability when things were even harder.
"We have a proven rear end from Williams with the Cosworth engine and the gearbox, so the rest of the car shouldn’t be a bit problem in terms of reliability. But until you test it, you don't know.
As the car has not run before, Liuzzi and team-mate Narain Karthikeyan will treat the start of practice as a shakedown before working quickly through the normal testing procedures for a new machine.
"We have to do tests that you would usually do when the car has its first miles, so in a way we are mixing a shakedown with a test," said Liuzzi. "We have three hours on Friday to understand the reaction of everything - ride height, springs, dampers, aero mapping, mechanical balance.
"It will be a really important day for us and we will hopefully have dry weather because it helps you to understand better that everything is working in the right way.
"We will try to do as many laps as we can with both cars to get the best information for the team."