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Liuzzi confident of staying with HRT

NEWS STORY
20/12/2011

Vitantonio Liuzzi may not have been confirmed at HRT for 2012 but the Italian remains optimistic about his future with the beleaguered Spanish squad.
In November the team confirmed it had signed Pedro de la Rosa, the Spanish veteran joining the team having spent much of his career as test driver at McLaren. What it failed to mention was just who would line up alongside him, prompting speculation linking a host of drivers to the position.

Rubens Barrichello, Vitaly Petrov and Adrian Sutil are all on the market as are the former Toro Rosso pairing of Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari - a Spaniard no less - not to mention any number of potential youngsters eager to break in to Formula One.

According to Liuzzi however there's nothing to speculate about. "At the start of 2011, we agreed a long-term deal with HRT," he said in an interview with Australian Motorsport News. "There was no point making a one-year deal with a team at that level, you need to make it a project for the future. That's why I want to stay there in 2012."

Boasting fresh investment thanks to the Thesan Capital, which purchased a controlling stake in the team, Liuzzi's situation is not as clear cut as he makes out. His deal was signed at the beginning of 2011, with the team's former owners, and as yet there has been no indication the new bosses have any intention of retaining the 30-year-old.

The Italian remains upbeat in the face of seemingly overwhelming opposition to retain his seat. "I have a long-term contract with the team, and I believe that they are happy with me. But you can never give up. There is always pressure. You have to show your potential every race, you can never relax.

"This is my seventh year in Formula 1, and I still enjoy it a lot. I think even 2011, which has been a much bigger challenge with HRT, it's been exciting. That's why I want to stay there in 2012."

Given HRT's clear desire to become a Spanish national team - moving its base to Spain, replacing Colin Kolles with Luis Perez-Sala and the signing of Pedro De La Rosa - it seems unlikely the il Tricolore will be visible on either of its drivers helmets in 2012.

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