Vitantonio Liuzzi will go in tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix having completed just fourteen laps of the Suzuka track so far this weekend.
Engine problems limited the Italian’s running during FP3 to just eight laps and Liuzzi was unable to set a time during qualifying today. As a result, he will start the race tomorrow from the back of the grid.
“It's been a terrible start to the weekend,” said Liuzzi. “Yesterday I could only do four laps, eight this morning after an engine issue and this afternoon again problems so in the end I've hardly done any laps in two days. We'll start from last position, which isn't very positive, and it's a shame because the few laps we did weren't too bad. But this is one of the best races of the season with a great atmosphere so I'm hoping to put this behind me and have a good race tomorrow”.
HRT team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has been much luckier. He will start the grand prix from 22nd after Nico Rosberg also failed to set a time during Q1 today.
“From my point of view it was not a bad session,” said the Australian rookie. “I approached it well and did what I had to do. In qualifying you have to push 100% and I definitely did that. I went a little bit wide in some areas from pushing too much but I'd say I only lost about a tenth which isn't enough to get in front of our rivals.
“I am satisfied because the balance of the car was the best it's been all weekend but the others have also improved and we have to keep on working. Anyways it's time to focus on the race where I'm keen to put in a good performance”.
Team principal Colin Kolles is hoping that the team’s fortunes improve come race day. “Again another day with highs and lows,” he remarked. “Daniel has done a good job and has always been pushing and taking steps forward. But today, again, we experienced problems with Tonio's engine. Yesterday he could only manage 4 laps and only 10 today. It is far from ideal but with his experience I'm sure he will be able to pull out a good race.
“Races are always a different matter and now we can only hope for a trouble-free race for both cars to finish the race”.