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GP Week : 13-Oct-2009
F1 INSIGHT >> position in the final result. But it is always an exam." Liuzzi has been told by Mallya that his seat is safe for 2009, but the big question of 2010 looms large. Is Liuzzi's F1 return to be limited to just five races, or is there more to come? "We kept our door open on both sides," he confirms. "Vijay and me, we said, at the end of the year we will sit down and talk about the future. We have for sure a really high chance to continue and I would be really happy to do it because I like the Force India environment and the whole group. They showed the whole world that even though we are a small team, there are a lot of good heads put together and that makes the difference. We will see. I think we have a good opportunity to continue with Force India but we'll see how it ends up." Liuzzi himself has grown up an awful lot. The party boy as he was portrayed at Toro Rosso moved away from the bright lights a few years ago and today prefers a simpler existence. "I moved to Lugano [Switzerland] since two and a half years, since my Formula 1 stopped. Italy is always a location I can get to quickly because my girlfriend is there, but I am living in Lugano. It is close to Milan, on the lake. The lifestyle is good there, it is quieter, it is better for training, for relaxing and it is on the lake... so there's a good view. "Life has changed quite a lot. People change in life. There was a moment in my career when I needed to make a change and now I just concentrated on my results." There's been a look in Tonio's eyes over the last few years; one of missed opportunity, a longing for the chances he was denied by cruel political games. He would never admit it himself, he's far too much of a decent chap to do so, but there are many in the paddock who firmly believe that his shot at making it to the big Red Bull team, or indeed to really show what he could do in a racing car, were torpedoed by the collective destructive influence of Tost and Berger at Toro Rosso. Indeed, there's an unsubstantiated rumour doing the rounds at the moment that Red Bull's ultimate boss Dietrich Mateschitz has gone as far as to apologise to the Italian for the manner in which Liuzzi and Red Bull's relationship ended as with hindsight he now regrets losing the Italian. Liuzzi himself pulls shot of blaming anybody for the way things ended at Toro Rosso, but does admit that he found it puzzling to be told by his ultimate paymasters to play up to the party side of Red Bull in public, and then be chastised by the team for doing exactly what they'd asked of him. "I don't blame the situation in the past [on anybody.] The past is the past. But for sure with them it was a different environment [to Force India.] It was also a different environment to how the team is now. Since I left they changed the complete theory of the team. They wanted us to do a lot of things and then at the end they said it was our mistake. So [laughs]... it's a bit of a balance. But I don't regret my time there. They taught me a lot, I learned a lot and that's why I am also a different person now. I would never regret my time with them, but now it is two years after and I want to show again what I'm made of and what I can do in the track. That's the most important thing." He leans in, and with a burning intensity in his eyes, firmly concludes: "I'm back and I have more hunger than before. My aim has always been to win the world championship and that's what I am here to do ." 27