Vitantonio “Tonio” Liuzzi was born in Locorotondo, Italy, on 6 August 1981. He began kart racing at the age of 9. During his time as a kart racing driver he won the Italian Karting Championship (1993) and the Karting World Championship (2001), amongst other successes.
In 2001 Liuzzi debuted in single-seater racing, taking second place in the German Formula Renault championship. The following year he competed in the German Formula Three championship, where he came in ninth overall. During the year he also test drove for F1 team Williams. In 2003 he was signed by Red Bull’s F3000 team. He ended the season in fourth position. Continuing on in F3000, he joined the Arden team for 2004 and took the title that season.
Vitantonio Liuzzi made his Formula One debut in 2005, racing for Red Bull, sharing his position on the team with Christian Klien. He scored his first point during his first race at San Marino that year. In 2006 Liuzzi enjoyed his first full F1 season racing for Toro Rosso. He earned the team’s only point at the United States Grand Prix, though his consistency was praised. The 2007 season with Toro Rosso was challenging and Liuzzi scored once at the Grand Prix in China. He joined Force India as the third driver for the 2008 season. In 2009 he raced the last five rounds for Force India. He became a full-time driver for Force India in 2010.
Formed in October 2007 by a consortium of Indian businessmen, Force India F1 Team has evolved from the Jordan Grand Prix team established by Eddie Jordan in 1991. At that time the team enjoyed a measure of success, but financial woes led to the sale of team to the Midland group in 2005 resulting in it being renamed Midland F1 Racing. The ink had barely dried on the contract, when the team was sold to Spyker Cars near the end of the 2006 season, less than a year after being acquired. Ownership changed again at the end of the 2007 F1 season, with the name changing to Force India Formula One Team.
Following all the upheaval of the previous years, the 2008 F1 season got underway with Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil as drivers, and Vitantonio Liuzzi, Roldan Rodriguez and Giedo van der Garde as test drivers for Force India. The team looked set to score its first point at Monaco with Adrian Sutil in fourth place, but he collided with Kimi Räikkönen near the end of the race. Sutil was found to be at fault.
The same drivers were retained by Force India for the 2009 F1 season. The 2009 Chinese Grand Prix almost presented Sutil with the team’s first points, when Sutil’s car aquaplaned in the wet weather and crashed with just six laps to go. Later that same year, at the Belgian GP, Fisichella finished the race less than a second behind winner Kimi Räikkönen, thereby earning Force India’s first podium finish and first F1 championship points. Test driver Liuzzi stepped in as team driver in September 2009 when Fisichella moved over to Scuderia Ferrari for the rest of the season. Liuzzi qualified seventh for the 2009 Italian Grand Prix, with Sutil qualifying second. Sutil passed the finish line fourth on race day, with Liuzzi forced to retire due to gear box failure on his car. The team finished the season in ninth place.
On February 9 Force India unveiled its new car for the 2010 season – the VJM03. Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi will be the team’s drivers, with Paul di Resta as the team’s test driver. The first race of the season in Bahrain saw Liuzzi finishing in ninth position and scoring 2 points, while Sutil came in twelfth, after recovering from an incident in the first lap. Fans are no doubt interested to see the progress of Force India in the 2010 F1 Championship season.
Born in Starnberg, West Germany, on 11 January 1983, Adrian Sutil started his auto racing career with karting at the age of 14. He progressed to Swiss Formula Ford in 2002, winning all twelve events of the season. In 2003 this talented young driver achieved sixth place in the German Formula ADAC BMW Championships, and 2004 saw him driving for Team Kolles in the F3 Euroseries. In 2005 Sutil notched up two wins, two pole positions and no less than eleven podium finishes in the Formula Three Euroseries, completing the season as runner-up to Lewis Hamilton. In 2006 he won the Japanese Formula Three title and tested for Spyker as an F1 driver.
Sutil made his F1 debut with Spyker in 2007, and despite driving an uncompetitive car, his talent as a driver was evident and he was hailed as a star of the future. Continuing with Spyker, which had now become Force India, in 2008, Sutil continued to be hampered by uncompetitive machinery, nevertheless continuing to show his potential as a consistently competitive driver. Force India upped their game, and in 2009 Sutil claimed ninth place at the Melbourne season opener, achieved second grid slot in Italy (his best to date) and crossed the finish line in fourth position at Monza, earning his only point-scoring result of the year.
As the 2010 F1 Championship season gains momentum, still driving for Force India, Adrian Sutil has the opportunity to prove that he is indeed an F1 champion in the making and racing enthusiasts will no doubt be watching his career develop with great interest.
The world of Formula One racing consists of a number of F1 teams. These teams are responsible for their own promotion, developing their vehicles, organizing drivers and obtaining sponsorships. Formula One racing fans, if they do not support an individual driver, will root for a particular F1 team. Many of the Formula One teams make a great name for themselves by consistently producing excellent cars and top-standard drivers. This section of Autoracing.com takes a closer look at a number of Formula One’s leading racing teams.
Formula One racing teams typically develop a close working partnership with car manufacturers. Together they work on designing effective, fast and reliable vehicles, set to take drivers to the max. Team managers ensure that everything runs smoothly, from advertising to racing events. F1 racing teams hire several mechanics to keep the Formula One car in top condition. They also work in the pits on racing day, making repairs, changing wheels and adding fuel. F1 drivers may change between teams due to better offers or to pursue greater ambitions. Exceptional Formula 1 drivers have been known to pull flailing teams from the bottom right to victory positions. It is vital however that the entire F1 team work together if they are to do well. From developing strategy right to the finish line on race day, the F1 team makes every effort to boost both car and driver to their highest potential.
Amongst the world’s top-rated F1 teams are Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull. Many drivers dream of attaining a position on these excellent teams. Formula One teams are easily identifiable by their distinctive colors and helmet designs. Who can ignore Ferrari’s bright red outfits and car. Cars, clothing and helmets are emblazoned with the logos of the team’s sponsors. Sponsors are vital to the continuation of a team, as Formula One is an extremely expensive sport. Sponsorship is not difficult for top-ranking teams. Formula One Teams also sell a variety of merchandise from clothing to key-rings and posters. Keep your eyes on the Formula One Grand Prix World Championships to see which F1 team takes the lead this year.