He has already acknowledged that Hispania Racing (HRT) faces an uphill battle to even begin to get on terms with its rivals over the course of the F1 2011 World Championship campaign, but new-signing Vitantonio Liuzzi
is convinced the team ultimately has 'all the right ingredients needed to be successful'.
Liuzzi completed the 2011 field when he was officially confirmed at HRT on Wednesday, and he subsequently quipped that his stop-start F1 career has left him 'used to starting from scratch' and that just as 'Rome wasn't built in a day', so Hispania will need to work hard indeed to haul itself onto the pace of its adversaries this year [see separate story – click here
], especially given the nigh-on complete dearth of testing from which it will benefit prior to the Melbourne curtain-raiser at the end of the month.
At the official launch of the new F111 in Barcelona today, however, the Italian expressed an optimism and confidence that the Spanish outfit has established a decent baseline, is on the right track at last and will prove able to 'quickly make up for lost time'.
“I'm looking forward to this 2011 season,” the 29-year-old enthused. “I think it will be a very interesting year for us. It's a new start for Hispania Racing and for myself. There's a lot of work to do and we face a big challenge, but the new car will definitely bring more success to the team.
“Last year was difficult as it was Hispania's first season in F1, but the new car is a big step forward. There is a solid group of good mechanics and good engineers who I'm looking forward to working with to further develop the car. This will be an important year to set the right bases for the future.
“Driving a team to success is much like making a puzzle – you must try to build it in the best possible way in order to work in harmony and quickly make up for lost time. I believe we have all the right ingredients needed to be successful.”
Those sentiments are broadly echoed by team-mate Narain Karthikeyan, who is returning to F1 this season following a five-year absence from the grand prix grid. The Indian recognises that Liuzzi's recent experience in the top flight will be vital as he himself endeavours to settle swiftly back into the groove.
“I'm looking forward to driving the new car,” the 34-year-old confessed. “It will definitely be better than last year's, but I still don't know how much better. It will be a challenging season as we haven't used the car [yet], so I expect Australia to be a tough start. Still, I am ready for the challenge and will give it my best. Tonio has a lot of knowledge from driving recently in F1, so this will surely be very positive for the team.”