Force India F1 team's Vitantonio Liuzzi is feeling bullish going into the Australian Grand Prix this coming weekend.
Liuzzi made a great start to the F1 2010 season in Bahrain two weeks ago and eventually finished ninth to score two points. The Italian was extremely encouraged by that result and is determined to again break into the top ten this Sunday.
“Overall the whole Bahrain GP weekend was positive. We learned a lot about the tyres and how they perform in the warm temperatures and also how far we can push the fuel in the race. I was a bit disappointed with qualifying in that we never got a clear lap, but the race was encouraging and was a great result for the team and myself,” said Liuzzi. “The team has worked so hard over the winter to find improvements and never gave up pushing so to get two points in the first race is fantastic.
“They are a team that is focussed, knows what they are doing and how to get there so they really deserve it to have good results on a regular basis. This is just the start.
“We have some new developments on the front and rear wing now for Melbourne and I'm pretty hopeful it will be a step forward as every upgrade we made last year was positive, so the correlation from the wind tunnel seems to be working well. Of course you never know what the others are bringing but I would hope this would move us a little closer to the teams in front. My target would be to get into Q3 this time out and then, of course, get into the points again.”
Liuzzi's team-mate Adrian Sutil meanwhile is also feeling confident and while he didn't score in Bahrain, after tangling with Robert Kubica at the start, he is convinced he can open his account. Indeed he reckons he might be able to sneak into the top five.
“I think it was a very good start to the season for us in Bahrain. We were very competitive in free practice, I was quickest in FP1, and then again in qualifying where both Tonio and myself were in the top 12. Last year we didn't get through to Q2 in Bahrain so to come out and be in the top 12 is really positive.
“Everything went well until the start of the race for me and then I dropped back down the field but from the team perspective at least one car got into the points. But now we want to go even higher in Australia. I think there is still potential to improve everything and get close to the top five or six.”
As for Albert Park, Sutil regards it as one of his favourite tracks: “It's a nice street circuit with a few run off areas through a park so it's very beautiful. But it's also very challenging with a lot of quick corners and a few slow speed corners so altogether it's a great circuit to race on,” he explained.
“I also have a lot of history there - I made my race debut for Spyker at the track in 2007, it was where Force India made their race debut the next year and then last year I was ninth. If we can get that position again this year that's two points!
“We've got to aim for this or higher - I'm pretty happy with where we were in qualifying and how we performed in the Bahrain race so we've got a lot of reasons to look forward to Australia now.”