Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi analyses what went wrong for him at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone when he finished outside the points in 11th position. The 28-year-old Italian expects Hockenheim circuit to suit Force India and believes the Indian outfit will come up with a good showing at the upcoming German Grand Prix in Germany.
You had a frustrating first stint at Silverstone. How did things go for you from the start?
It was pretty upsetting because we don't know what happened with the first set of tyres. With the hard tyres at the beginning we had a huge amount of understeer, and I couldn't drive to the apex every time, it was really washing out. And suddenly once we changed to the soft tyres it was another world. We were able to push, we had a really good pace, and we were able to catch our competitors. I caught the group of Adrian [Sutil], Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher without any problem, and I was also keeping Fernando Alonso behind.
But after the pit stop it was fine?
When we went to the soft tyres I went down with the front wing and the car was balanced and was good. It was a shame because even with the soft tyre we struggled with a lack of top speed, which we'd had since the beginning of the race. We lost a few km/h on the straight, and we don't understand why, but we have to analyse it.
You mentioned Alonso -- you had quite a fight with him!
When he tried to overtake me we had a little contact. He has already passed me once, and I passed him back. He was trying everything to overtake me, but I don't give him space just because he is in a Ferrari! I enjoyed it, I always enjoy a fight.
How frustrating was it to lose five places in qualifying?
I was pretty upset because when it happened to me in the first three or four races, I always suffered because of traffic, and they never came to any conclusion or gave any penalty. There was a misunderstanding with the pit wall, because we believed Hulkenberg was on an out lap. He was coming quite fast and I understand that I blocked him, but he did a much better lap afterwards, so I don't think we actually spoiled his qualifying. I got held up on a few occasions by a Williams, but nothing happened, but that's racing.
Any thoughts on the next race in Hockenheim?
It is not as linked to downforce as Silverstone, so maybe we should be more competitive and with a better pace. We have to try to score points with both cars to be back in the fight. In Silverstone I was close, but we knew it was not a track for our car's best characteristics. I think Hockenheim will be better for us, but we still have to work hard and bring some developments. It has a very flat surface, or it did when we were last there two years ago! So you can use a much stiffer set-up, a much lower car.
Is it a track that you like?
Yes, I grew up in Germany in F3, so I really like it, and I drove quite a bit there. So I'm looking forward to it. I think we could be in a strong position.