Liuzzi takes Fisichella's place at Force India

Liuzzi takes Fisichella's place at Force IndiaStuttgart  - Test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi will take the place of Giancarlo Fisichella from the upcoming Italian Grand Prix onwards, the Force India Formula One team announced on Monday.

The vacancy occurred when Force India allowed Fisichella to move on to Ferrari after the last race August 30 in Belgium.

Liuzzi, 28, joined Force India as a test driver in 2008 after competing in 39 GPs for Red Bull and Toro Rosso 2005-2007. His best career result ahead of the return Sunday at his Italian home race is a sixth-place finish from the 2007 Chinese GP.

Expectations at Force India are running high after Fisichella claimed a sensational pole position and then finished second behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in Belgium.

"I can't wait to get back into the car in race trim, particularly at my home Grand Prix in Monza," said Liuzzi.

"I really appreciate the opportunity (team boss) Vijay (Mallya) has given me, particularly now (that) Force India has a great car that's performing very well. I am confident I can carry on our progress.

I'm very motivated, I'm in good shape and hungry to get some more points on the board ... This is my opportunity to show people what I can do and I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

Mallya said: "I'm delighted to give Tonio the opportunity to get back into a race seat, which I know he has been itching to do for the past two years.

"Force India is now in a very competitive position and we need a driver who can continue this momentum. This will be the chance for Tonio to demonstrate to both the team and the field that he has the commitment, speed and professionalism to perform and I am sure he will seize this opportunity." (dpa)