Vitantonio Liuzzi says he remains focused on staying in Formula 1 for the 2008 season despite losing his drive with the Toro Rosso team.

After two years with the Italian outfit, Liuzzi will move on to pastures new next year after the Red Bull 'B' team confirmed that it will pair youngster Sebastien Vettel with Champ Car World Series title winner Sebastian Bourdais.

It comes after a trying campaign for Liuzzi, who qualified no higher than eleventh throughout the season and suffered seven retirements; including a run of four DNFs in the opening six races.

There was the highlight of a sixth place finish in China on the same weekend that team-mate Vettel finished fourth, but by then it was already known that Liuzzi was losing his seat for 2008.

Although disappointed to not continue for a third year with the Ferrari-powered squad, Liuzzi will now switch his focus to the future and said he was hopeful of remaining in F1 - although with race seats now in short supply, he may have to settle for testing duties elsewhere in the paddock.

"My second season with Scuderia Toro Rosso has been a tough one with a lot of reliability problems, especially in the mid season," he told Formula1.com. "But towards the end of the year, the reliability improved and I was able to remind people of my abilities. The last three races brought conflicting feelings as I had a strong race in Japan to pick up a point for eighth, which looked like being the team's first of the year, but then we lost it in the courts.

"Then just a few days later came the Chinese Grand Prix and my best-ever result, a sixth place. I was so happy to be able to do this, not just for myself but for all the guys in the garage and the factory who have worked so hard with me for the past two years. We were a good fit - me an Italian driver and them an Italian team, but sadly that is over now.

"As we speak I don't know where my future lies, but I hope it is in F1, if only because it would be nice to see all my Toro Rosso crew again next year."

 

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