Vitantonio Liuzzi has shifted the goalposts at Force India ahead of the second half of the F1 2010 World Championship campaign, contending that having firmly established itself as a midfield competitor this season to-date, the Silverstone-based squad can now realistically bid for a podium finish in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Liuzzi has yet to get even remotely close to the rostrum this year – with a best finish thus far of seventh place Down Under in Melbourne, as he has generally found himself outshone by team-mate Adrian Sutil – but as he prepares to return to a circuit that he palpably enjoys, the 29-year-old Italian is buoyant about his prospects for success and hopeful that should the Ardennes weather live up to its reputation for unpredictability, FIF1 could just spring an upset at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of the month.
This time last year, of course, the team celebrated a genuine breakthrough when Giancarlo Fisichella stunned paddock observers by sealing pole position in qualifying and going on to race to the runner-up laurels – right in the wheel tracks of the victorious Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen – the following day. A similar result this time around would do much to relieve the pressure from behind, with a resurgent Williams increasingly hunting down Force India's current sixth spot in the constructors' standings.
“I think we are still capable of a top position and why not, a podium could be possible again,” Liuzzi told ESPNF1
. “We are pushing hard to bring our blown diffuser in for Spa, and we had good ideas of how to make it work before shutting down for the break. After testing it in Hungary, we are pretty confident we will have it for Spa.
“Spa is my favourite venue, and I love the circuit because it is a mixture of adrenaline and technique. It has a great mix of really high-speed and technical corners, and there is nowhere else like it that gives you the same adrenaline rush. It's the most beautiful circuit on the championship calendar.
“Of course, it also rains a lot at Spa, and you can have some parts of the circuit wet and others dry. For sure it is not easy to handle and luck can play a part because you need to be in the right place at the right time to make a decision on tyres and make the right call on the pit-stop, but I don't mind it when things get tough during the race because it makes it more exciting.”