12 September 2011
Liuzzi penalised after Monza smash
Vitantonio Liuzzi: I had a good start getting past both Virgins, Lotuses and Daniel [Ricciardo, my team-mate] but then I went for another overtaking manoeuvre and got closed out. That put me into the grass and once I was there I tried to slow down but completely lost control of the car and unfortunately hit other cars. I am really sorry for Petrov, Rosberg and the other drivers who were forced to retire because of this.
HRT's Vitantonio Liuzzi has been handed a five-place grid penalty for Singapore and reprimanded by the stewards following his accident at the start of the Italian Grand Prix, the 13th round in the F1 2011 World Championship.
Liuzzi lost control on the run down to Turn 1, he then tagged the verge and went across the grass and straight into Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov, who were minding their own business.
All three retired on the spot, while Rubens Barrichello, having avoided the contact, found himself corralled by the damaged machines. Adrian Sutil was also forced to take to the gravel on the outside of the chicane, while Sebastien Buemi clipped Rosberg's stranded Mercedes but carried on. Unsurprisingly, the safety car was required to clear up the mess, although it only remained on track for a couple of laps.
“I was really looking forward to my home race and, although I knew it was going to be tough, it all ended prematurely. I had a good start getting past both Virgins, Lotuses and Daniel [Ricciardo, my team-mate] but then I went for another overtaking manoeuvre and got closed out,” Liuzzi explained.
“That put me into the grass and once I was there I tried to slow down but completely lost control of the car and unfortunately hit other cars.
“I am really sorry for Petrov, Rosberg and the other drivers who were forced to retire because of this. Now it's over but we are fighters and we have to look ahead to the next race.”
Rosberg meanwhile was frustrated to go out so soon: “It was a disappointing race for me today in Monza,” he remarked. “I had a difficult start on my prime tyres but still managed to gain a place at the first corner, so it was quite good.
“Then Liuzzi flew like a torpedo over the grass and put me out of the race. It's a pity because I had a strong strategy and, as Michael [Schumacher]'s good result showed, our car was very strong this afternoon.”
Mercedes team boss, Ross Brawn was equally annoyed: “For Nico, it was a short and not at all sweet afternoon. We had an exciting strategy starting him on the prime tyres, and looking at how those tyres performed on other cars at the beginning of the race, it would have been very interesting to see how it developed.
“It's doubly frustrating that he was taken out by a car starting in 24th position. If you get tangled up at the first corner because you are vying for position, that's racing, but to be swiped out by someone that far back is hard to take,” he summed-up.
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