Liuzzi unlikely to keep HRT seat

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Jan.11 (GMM) Jerome d’Ambrosio, Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna are all in the running to complete HRT’s driver lineup for 2012, according to Belgian newspaper La Libre.

According to the struggling Spanish team’s technical boss Jacky Eeckelaert, ousted Virgin/Marussia driver d’Ambrosio is towards the top of the list.

“I don’t think it’s in the interests of the team to have a second Spanish driver,” he said, effectively ruling out Jaime Alguersuari or Dani Clos to be Pedro de la Rosa’s teammate.

“The same goes for the drivers approaching retirement,” added Eeckelaert, thereby also scratching Rubens Barrichello from the shortlist.

With an existing contract for 2012 is Vitantonio Liuzzi, but Eeckelaert also spoke against the Italian.

“He hasn’t really confirmed himself after several chances. We are looking more for a young driver with a lot of potential,” he added.

HRT, formerly Hispania, has had a troubled young history and ahead of the 2012 season is still looking to find its feet with new management and ownership.

“We hope to continue our battle at the back of the pack with Virgin (Marussia),” said Eeckelaert.

“It is difficult to aim higher. The Dallara chassis we used in our first two seasons was clearly not good enough. So in our German workshop we have built our own HRT to be powered by the Cosworth V8.

“We started fresh in September, later than the others, and so we cannot have fantasies.

“The new owners decided to move the team with the result that 90 per cent of the staff in Germany will not follow us.

“This is unfortunate because even if the car did not work, the team was beginning to work well together. Now it’s as though we are beginning again with a new team,” he said.