Liuzzi rejects de Resta rumors

UPDATE (GMM) Force India's test and reserve driver Paul di Resta will this week sit out another morning practice session.

The Scot has tested during the initial track session at every grand prix event this year with the exception of Bahrain and Monaco.

Di Resta, 24, had to defer to the race drivers in Bahrain because of the altered track configuration, and Monaco "due to the challenging layout of the circuit", amid the need for Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi to maximize their cockpit time.

Force India confirmed on Tuesday that the DTM driver, who raced in Valencia between the Monaco and Turkish grands prix, will sit out Friday's session at Istanbul Park because the car will be fitted with "some new development items".

The Silverstone based team is sixth in the constructors' championship, 35 points behind Renault.

"It was a late call from the team but I completely understand their decision as there are some new upgrades coming through this race that really need the drivers' and the team's attention," said di Resta.

Team racer Vitantonio Liuzzi last week scotched rumors he is in danger of losing his seat to the highly rated rookie di Resta.

"I am not worried about these rumors; speculation is always at the door and all over the papers," the Italian told

05/19/10 Tonio Liuzzi has brushed off rumors that he might be replaced by Force India's reserve driver Paul di Resta this season.

Di Resta has driven during a number of Friday practice sessions in 2010 and has impressed with consistent performances. Speculation about di Resta being promoted was sparked at the Chinese Grand Prix when Liuzzi failed to make Q2 due to traffic and then gathered momentum when he struggled to find a set-up in Spain. But after out qualifying his team-mate and going on to score points in Monaco, Liuzzi said he had no concerns about the di Resta claims.

"I am not worried about these rumors; speculation is always at the door and all over the papers," he said in his exclusive column with ESPNF1. "I have a contract for two years with Force India and they believe in me and I believe in them, so our relationship is very good. They know exactly the problems I was having in China and Spain and they know that it was not due to anything else. Also I scored points at the first two races and again in Monaco, so they can see that I'm very much fighting for the team to meet its targets. It really doesn't worry me that this sort of stuff is printed and it's quite normal that you get this kind of speculation when you are competing at the highest level."

Liuzzi said he and the team had already gone some way to solving the issues that had held him back at previous races.

"The good news is that in Monaco we sorted out a lot of the problems we were having," he added. "It was important for me to find a way to make the car work, because in the last two races we had some issues with the balance of the car and a lack of grip from the rear end. The set-up we found on Saturday overcame a lot of our problems and, although Monaco is a bit of a one off, I think that what we learned will be very useful for the future. So I'll be heading to Turkey in two weeks feeling confident and it's another circuit I really like so we should do well."

Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said last week: "We still support Tonio fully. t was never the plan to race Paul this year."

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