Liuzzi steps up to race for Force India 07 Sep 2009
Force India have announced that test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi will assume driving duties of car number 21 from this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, taking over from Giancarlo Fisichella who has moved to Ferrari.
After evaluating options following Fisichella's switch, Liuzzi has been promoted to the race seat from Monza onwards. The 28-year-old Italian has fulfilled the team's test, reserve driver and development role from the start of the 2008 season.
I can't wait to get back into the car in race trim, particularly at my home Grand Prix in Monza, said Liuzzi. I really appreciate the opportunity (team owner) Vijay (Mallya) has given me, particularly now Force India has a great car that's performing very well. I am confident I can carry on our progress.
I'm very motivated, I'm in good shape and hungry to get some more points on the board. Although it's unfortunate that this came about as an direct result of Felipe's (Massas) accident, this is my opportunity to show people what I can do and I'm really looking forward to it.
Liuzzi has 39 Grand Prix starts to his name, having previously competed for Red Bull Racing in 2005 and then for Toro Rosso in 2006 and 2007. His best finish was a sixth place at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix.
Mallya commented: I'm delighted to give Tonio the opportunity to get back into a race seat, which I know he has been itching to do for the past two years. Force India is now in a very competitive position and we need a driver who can continue this momentum. This will be the chance for Tonio to demonstrate to both the team and the field that he has the commitment, speed and professionalism to perform and I am sure he will seize this opportunity.