F1, Vitantonio Liuzzi talks about his "great friend" Schumacher: "I remember when he used to be incognito against me in kart races"

F1, Vitantonio Liuzzi talks about his “great friend” Schumacher: “I remember when he used to be incognito against me in kart races”

“The Ferrari still believe in titlethe criticisms of some fans towards Charles Leclerc (due to the mistake in turn 11 in the French GP, ndr) I found them ridiculous. But it will be very hard, and in case it goes badly Maranello you learn from mistakes for next season “. The former Red Bull, Vitantonio Liuzzi40 years old, tells himself to ilfattoquotidiano.it. Speaking of the battle between his old team and Ferrari, to also recall an anecdote about his former teammate in Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettelwho on Thursday announced his farewell to Aston Martin and to F1 at the end of the season: “I remember when Seb showed up at the team’s first driver party, he had the ear plugs because he was bothered by noises”.

Dry question: after France, is the World Championship now compromised for Leclerc and Ferrari?
There are still some hopes, but let’s face it: it’s really difficult. Verstappen has matured a lot, he makes no mistakes, and Red Bull is always competitive, even if lately not at the level of Ferrari. The Red F1-75 is a very fast car, but it brings home fewer points than it should. Perhaps due to the fact that Maranello has lost some experience, not fighting for the title for four years. It will be tough to beat the Anglo-Austrian team this year.

Giving the percentages, how much is the fault of the driver and the team?
For me it’s a 50-50. It is true that Leclerc made two huge mistakes (in the GPs of Imola and in France, ndr), but when you are at the limit, with machines completely different from those of the past where you lose more grip, then you can make a mistake. The team needs to improve its strategies, mistakes already seen in several races this season. Red Bull does less, as it matured after winning the 2021 World Cup.

For Ferrari there is also the issue of reliability to be resolved.
The car is fast and in the last few races it has proved reliable, from now to the end of the championship the team can stay calm for the most part. Budapest is also a pro-Ferrari track, all curves, and it does little stress on the engine. Then there will be other tracks, remaining on the calendar, which smile in terms of characteristics of the Red. I think it is right that we continue to hope. If Ferrari does not win, this season will be important to make the most of the mistakes for the next one.

After France, some fans have criticized Leclerc on social media. Doesn’t he find them a little unfair, since two mistakes are few in the end?
Since there are social networks, he gives too much breath to the trumpets. In a stupid, nasty way, I’m not surprised. Charles is a great talent, a young jewel of incredible speed who is fighting against a track animal like Verstappen. Max has a few more years of experience and is not easy to beat, unfortunately haters have always been there, but they just make me laugh.

Speaking of Verstappen, the World Cup seems to have definitely matured him. Who does he remember as a driving style?
The victory definitely cheered him up, when in the early years of his career (he made his F1 debut in 2015, ed) he appeared to everyone as too impetuous. Driving without the pressure and anxiety of having to win a title goes a long way. As a style I would not compare him to any of my times, I see him more as a Gilles Villeneuve for his aggression and for the magical blows he suddenly pulled out of the hat.

In his career he was a Red Bull driver in 2005, the first year of the team’s life. At that time, times were different than now, you only stayed one season before joining Toro Rosso. If she had had more time, would it have been a different career?
I think I was one of the F1 drivers in the right place, but at the wrong time. In Red Bull it was the first year, if I had had political protection or the good fortune to stay a few more seasons, it would have been different. Milton Keynes’ project was that, to carry on for a few years, even if some situations led me to leave the team. Red Bull feel like my family, however, because I worked with them for almost 10 years. Even if you remain neutral, in the title challenge that they are doing this year against Ferrari.

Sainz has finally found his adaptation to F1-75 and has approached Leclerc again in the Drivers’ standings, are you afraid of new internal duels given the lack of team order between the two so far?
If I were in Ferrari, I would focus only on Leclerc. In my day he used to wait a while to give the orders, then he made it clear how not to bother for the good of the team. Sainz is out of the title fight, I think he never was this year, Leclerc is not. It would be foolish for the Red to let the two home riders compete.

Going back in time and catching up on Leclerc’s outing in France, do you remember a race you had in control, before the mistake or failure that cost you your points?
At Monza in 2009 with Force India, when I broke a piece of the gearbox that made me lose a probable second place. Or in Canada three years earlier, where I had a suspension problem, coming too hard on the curb at the “Chicane of Champions”. There I was third with Toro Rosso and I had the result in my pocket. I remember the curses with the radio closed and after unplugging the steering wheel, how many I launched …

A former Ferrari and his old teammate in Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettel, said goodbye to F1 on Thursday, before the Hungarian GP. What comes to your mind if he has to remember it?
A very particular type, certainly the opposite of the image launched by Red Bull. I remember in 2007, at the first Toro Rosso pilot party, he showed up in the club with earplugs, probably annoyed by the noise of the club.

In his career he raced against Hamilton, who from Canada to date has always finished on the podium after a difficult start. And to think that at the beginning of the season he seemed unmotivated, what has changed for you in Lewis?
When you don’t have the title car, at 37, there is a loss of motivation, especially mental. Hamilton suffered a lot at the start of the World Championship, while Russell was hungry to prove his worth on his Mercedes debut. Now Lewis has realized that if he wants the eighth crown in 2023, he must motivate his team and continue developing the car to beat it on a par with Ferrari and Red Bull.

On the track she was highly respected by Michael Schumacher, a great old friend. What images come to you if you have to remember it?
Very often I think about him, or happen to talk about him. In F1 he was a hero of my times. In Abu Dhabi (in 2010) I almost ended up on his head with the wheel of my Force India, with him who, after having apologized, answered me asking me something: “Are we going to parachute next Wednesday?”. I remember when he got angry against me in kart races: he brought four or five mechanics, three engineers, he was competitive and he wanted to beat me. He respected me a lot.

Schumi’s son Mick appears to have unlocked on the Haas after Silverstone, although he is at risk from too much damage done to his Haas. Right to stay at the end of the season?
The damage he did in the first part of the championship is important, and it is normal for Mick to be under scrutiny. Maybe he unlocked a bit later than expected, but if he ends the next five to six races in a constructive and non-destructive way, he’ll just stay in F1.

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