He may be drinking in the last chance saloon but at least he’s won’t be going thirsty in 2011. Slowly, yes; thirsty, no.

Because the Force India refugee has been confirmed alongside Narain Karthikeyan at Hispania for the 2011 season, completing this year’s grid.

The 29-year-old Italian found himself without a drive after being dropped by Vijay Mallya’s team in favour of Scottish rookie Paul di Resta but has assured himself of a continued presence in grand prix racing by signing with the Spanish backmarkers. Liuzzi has previously driven for Red Bull and Toro Rosso but was dropped by the energy drinks company at the conclusion of the 2007 campaign. He will drive the new Hispania on Friday, the same day the 2011 challenger is launched.


Photo: HRT F1 Media

“I am really happy to have signed this agreement with Hispania Racing,” Liuzzi said of the deal.

“I never lost hope to be in Formula One as I knew I have the experience and the right attributes for a young and ambitious team. I face a new challenge now and this excites me.

“I am extremely grateful to José Ramon Carabante and to Colin Kolles for giving me such an opportunity.”

Team boss Kolles meanwhile is pleased to have signed the Italian who, like Karthikeyan, has already driven for the Romanian earlier in his career.

“I have known Tonio for many years as he raced with me in lower categories,” said Kolles. “He is a very professional driver who will bring a lot of benefits to the team.

“I am convinced about his skills to develop a car and his speed. He has shown this in the past having contributed to a large extent developing and moving a back of the grid car to the front.

“I had the pleasure of working with him and I am very happy and proud to have him racing with Hispania Racing.”

So can Liuzzi be the man to help Hispania claw their way up the grid, or would a hungrier young driver have been a better choice? Will he keep Karthikeyan in the shade, or can the India spring a surprise on his more experienced team-mate? Let us know what you think.