DRIVERS: VITANTONIO LIUZZI

Name: Vitantonio Liuzzi
Nationality: Italy
Date of birth: April 6, 1981 - Locorotondo, Italy

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Chinese GP 2006

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Chinese GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Born in the southern Italian town of Locorotondo, not far from Brindisi, Liuzzi began karting when he was only 10 years old. Two years later he won the Italian national cadet championship and in 1994 was recruited by the CRG team to race in the Junior category. He finished second in his first year and followed up in 1995 with second place in the World Championship. He stayed with CRG when he moved into senior level karting in 1997 and two years later he was European Kartin Champion and the winner of the Ayrton Senna Memorial Trophy at Suzuka. By 2000 he was beginning to consider cars and tested an F3 car for the Van Amersfoort team from Holland. He began racing in the German Formula Renault in 2001 but at same time competed in karts and that year won the World Karting Championship. He finished second in Formula Renault and in 2002 moved to the highly-competitive German Formula 3 with the BSR Opel team. He quickly learned the ropes and by the end of the year had scored three second places and it was decided to move straight into Formula 3000 with Red Bull Motorsport. Word of Liuzzi's talent had already reached Williams by that point and the team gave him a test in Valencia that autumn. His Formula 3000 career began successfully with some impressive performances, notably in Hungary where he was leading dominantly when a pit stop went wrong and he was robbed of victory. He was fourth in the championship and was immediately signed by Arden International and in 2004 swept to a dominant championship with seven wins in 10 races. Sauber was keen to test him but decided to sign Jacques Villeneuve instead and so Liuzzi joined Red Bull Racing as the third driver, on the understanding that he would have some races in 2005. In his first race at Imola he was able to beat David Coulthard, an impressive performance for an F1 debutant. In the end, however, he did only a few races as Red Bull Racing decided to concentrate its efforts on Austrian Christian Klien. At the end of the year there was further frustration when Red Bull decided that Liuzzi should join Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006 rather than Red Bull Racing.

It was not a very successful year with Liuzzi getting few chances to show his talent and he was then passed over by Red Bull when the firm decided to hire Mark Webber for 2007. Liuzzi hopes to do well with Scuderia Toro Rosso getting Ferrari V8 engines.

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