Giancarlo Fisichella will once again line up alongside Fernando Alonso at Renault next year and the Italian is aiming to get the upper hand on his world champion teammate. Statistically the results between the two this season probably make ...
Giancarlo Fisichella will once again line up alongside Fernando Alonso at Renault next year and the Italian is aiming to get the upper hand on his world champion teammate. Statistically the results between the two this season probably make uncomfortable reading for Fisichella, as Alonso won seven races and Giancarlo one, with Fisichella 75 points behind in the final standings.
However, Fisichella took some time to settle in on his return to Renault -- who he previously raced for when the team was Benetton -- and he also suffered the brunt of the mechanical problems in races. But he's confident that next season will see him more comfortable in the car. "I think I am a better driver now than I was a year ago," he said.
"I am in a team that is 100% behind me, and we support each other in difficult moments. With this year's car, some elements of it were not adapted perfectly to my driving style. But I have worked with the engineers to change some of my characteristics, and they also know how we need to work to adjust next year's car to better suit me."
As for Alonso, who became the youngest ever world champion in 2005, Fisichella gets on well with the Spaniard but, naturally, the relationship is not without rivalry. "Fernando and I are very similar," he commented. "We work together, we help each other, we laugh and joke.
"There is a good relationship, we are friends. But I know that in some races this year, I beat Fernando. Next year, we start again from zero, and I think that with an even better environment in the team, I can do it more often."
Renault's winter testing schedule kicks off at Barcelona at the end of this month and test driver Franck Montagny, despite previously announcing that he and Renault were parting company, will undertake most of the duties. Heikki Kovalainen will join Montagny at Jerez in December.
The team will also try out World Series by Renault champ Robert Kubica and 2004 Renault V6 winner Giorgio Mondini. Fisichella's one day behind the wheel will be at Barcelona on December 2nd, while Alonso will be on track at Jerez on December 16th.