Liuzzi signs for Hispania Racing Team

A computer image of the F111 that Tonio Liuzzi will race this season

A computer image of the F111 that Tonio Liuzzi will race this season

Italian Tonio Liuzzi says he is excited about the challenge of driving for the Hisapnaia Racing Team this season, after signing for the backmarker squad yesterday.

The former Formula 3000 Champion was dumped from Force India at the end of last season, and will drive alongside Indian Narain Karthikeyan in the Spanish team.

Liuzzi tested for Hispania at Barcelona last month, and says he’s pleased to remain in Formula One.

“I am really happy to have signed this agreement with Hispania Racing,” said Liuzzi.

“I never lost hope to be in Formula 1 as I knew I have the experience and the right attributes for a young and ambitious team.

“I face a new challenge now and this excites me. I also face a lot of hard work in guiding Hispania Racing through the development of our new car.”

The team recently confirmed that its Geoff Willis designed F111 will make its testing debut on Friday in Barcelona.

Team principal Colin Kolles says that Liuzzi’s experience will help push the team forwards.

“I have known Tonio for many years as he raced with me in lower categories,” said Kolles.

“He is a very professional driver who will bring a lot of benefits to the team.

“I am convinced about his skills to develop a car and his speed.

“He has shown this in the past having contributed to a large extent developing and moving a back of the grid car to the front.”

The remaining 11 teams continued their pre-season test programs at Barcelona yesterday, with Red Bull Racing remaining on top of the times with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi was second fastest ahead of Vitaly Petrov (Renauilt) and Lewis Hamilton, as McLaren was again hampered by reliability issues.

McLaren will sit out tomorrow’s running before completing its Albert Park preparation on Saturday and Sunday.

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m21.865
2 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.396
3 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.670
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.888
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m23.324
6 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.334
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.436
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.807
9 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m26.090
10 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m26.989
11 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m28.982

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