Red Bull third driver Tonio Liuzzi did his hopes of returning to a race seat no harm by comfortably outpacing team-mates David Coulthard and Christian Klien during day one of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix.

Luizzi's best time put him sixth fastest, almost 2-seconds slower than pace setter Ricardo Zonta, but 0.657secs ahead of Coulthard and 1.25secs clear of Klien. Speaking afterwards, the cheerful Italian had no hesitation in selecting his favourite part of the new track.

"Turn eight, the high-speed corner, is really fantastic to drive," he said. "The section of track after the corner is so long that you really start feeling the G force, which squishes you a bit in the car. As a driver, that's an awesome feeling. It's such a great corner - you know you'll get into it okay, but you don't always know if you're going to get out so well on the other side!"

Liuzzi had spun at that turn in the morning and team-mate Klien would go on to exit the racetrack at the same location in the afternoon.

"During the second practice session, I went a little bit too quickly into Turn eight. The car was touching the floor and it was just enough to mean I lost the rear and spun off," he confirmed. "There was no damage from the incident though and I was able to continue.

"We then changed the set-up of the car to improve its balance. This was needed as the track was changing throughout the session as it offered more and more grip. At the end of the second practice, I made a few mistakes and didn't set such a good lap time, but in the long run, when I had good balance in the car, the lap times were better, so it's looking promising for tomorrow," he added.

Coulthard had no such dramas, but added that his previous 'track time' had been of no advantage to him today.

"Although I drove the circuit in a road car when I visited the city a few weeks ago for a PR event, the experience of driving in an F1 car is so different that it didn't really help me today. It's always a challenge to come to a new circuit and as the track rubbers in we will see lap times continue to improve. It'll be good to see what we can do here over the weekend," said the Scot.

 

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