Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 15, 2004

Will Liuzzi test?

Vitantonio Liuzzi is down in Spain where he is due to test for Sauber tomorrow. The test was organized in order to assess whether or not Liuzzi could race for the team in 2005 and the fact that Sauber has just announced a deal with Jacques Villeneuve makes it fairly clear that the best that Liuzzi can hope for from Sauber is the job of being third driver next year, which is not what the Italian wants to do right now.

It may be that he will be forced to end up as a third driver but there is no doubt that there are bigger teams than Sauber with whom to fulfill that role and there are also still opportunities available to race in 2005. The Jenson Button to Williams saga still needs to be sorted out and it is fair to say that Liuzzi is likely to be on the list on possible drivers for both of the teams. He tested for Williams in the winter of 2002, after just one season in car racing, and the team appears to have concluded that he was not what they were looking for. In recent months, however, we believe that there has been some reassessment going on. Liuzzi fits the bill at BAR, which is looking (but not admitting to looking) for a cool young star to replace Button if Jenson does depart. The other options do not really fit the bill although there is, perhaps inevitably, a fear that a new driver will take time to learn the ropes and so would not make the most of the car.

Beyond that there is always the test drive at Ferrari and we hear that Jean Todt is interested in Liuzzi, perhaps as a possible Michael Schumacher replacement in 2007.

One way or the other there will be a lot of eyes on Jerez tomorrow to see who goes out in the Sauber.