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Liuzzi set for gearbox penalty after Q2 crash 17 Oct 2009

Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1 VJM02 crashes during Q2.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 17 October 2009 Liuzzi slides into the pitwall in Q2

Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi is set to receive a five-place grid penalty from the Interlagos race stewards after his team decided his car needs a new gearbox following his accident in qualifying. Liuzzi, who had qualified 15th, is now expected to drop to last place when the FIA publish the final grid just prior to Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Italian driver failed to complete a timed lap in Q2 after aquaplaning on the wet track’s main straight and spinning first into the pit wall and then the Turn One barriers. His VJM02 sustained significant rear-end damage in the impact, although precautionary checks at the circuit’s medical centre confirmed Liuzzi was uninjured.

“I am really disappointed and frustrated that the qualifying ended in the way it did,” he said. “The car reacted well in the wet conditions and we showed a good performance in Q1, even if we were in traffic and couldn't do the best lap time. At the start of Q2 it was very difficult conditions and it was risky to go out but once there is a green light you have to try and go out and do your best.

“I am sorry for the team as we could have achieved more but I was a passenger at that stage and couldn't do anything when the car caught that puddle. All the same I think we are in good shape tomorrow and if the conditions stay like this we have a well balanced car so I am optimistic for the race.”

Liuzzi’s team mate Adrian Sutil progressed to Q3, going on to qualify in third place.