Buoyed by the 13th place he achieved in the Canadian Grand Prix, F1 veteran Vitantonio Liuzzi has said that Hispania Racing has not given up hope of beating Team Lotus on a regular basis this year.
The Italian came home ahead of Lotus' Jarno Trulli after the latter struggled with his brakes in Montreal, but also benefited from a solid tactical race, as well as a car more suited to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and has high hopes for a competitive outing on the similar track that loops around Valencia's Americas Cup harbour.
"Definitely, for us, it was a good achievement," Liuzzi said of the Canadian result, which bettered HRT's previous best from its debut season in 2010, "It was a big target for us. We know that, in dry conditions, that target would be pretty impossible if the race goes normally, but everybody did a great job. We have to use that kind of situation, where it is a bit of a crazy race, and optimise everything - and the result came.
"Thirteenth position is the best result of the Hispania team and our target is half done, as we did a step forward in terms of the Constructors' Championship. We are pushing really hard, bringing also some development every race. We had a good one for Montreal, [and] it helped already in the dry as we have been ahead of Marussia Virgin in qualifying. In the race, the crazy conditions helped us, but everybody did a really good job in the pit-stop, in strategy, and I think everybody has to be pretty pleased."
While the struggling Marussia Virgin team is seen as a viable target for HRT, however, Liuzzi insists that the Spanish outfit is not ruling out toppling bigger targets as the year goes on, particularly with the team - which barely touched its 2010 car - now enjoying a consistent development schedule.
"Of course, our target, as we said from the beginning of the season, is to try to beat both Virgin and Lotus," he stated, "We know it is not going to be easy, but that's what we are aiming for.
"Lotus is a bit further ahead in terms of lap time in dry condition, but the programme for the championship is quite interesting. A lot of development should be coming soon. We are pushing day and night. It is not easy when you are a backmarker, but you are still fighting with other teams and you don't have to give up. We have some little things coming here in terms of the mechanical side, but we are aiming for a bigger one for Silverstone."