Fisichella sets sights on championship

Fisichella sets sights on championship

Giancarlo Fisichella will return to Renault in 2005 and believes the team can give him a real chance to win the world championship. The Italian drove for the French based squad when it was known as Benetton but departed after four years, being ...

Giancarlo Fisichella will return to Renault in 2005 and believes the team can give him a real chance to win the world championship. The Italian drove for the French based squad when it was known as Benetton but departed after four years, being replaced by compatriot Jarno Trulli in 2002. The situation is now reversed, with Fisichella stepping into Trulli's place for 2005.

Giancarlo Fisichella.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

"It is back to the future," said Fisichella, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. "I am going back to a group of people I left three years ago. They have grown up a lot, they are more motivated and now they have a winning car. Also I am much more grown up and I feel mature enough for the big leap in quality. It has certainly touched my heart."

Fisichella was reported to have been in a tie with Mark Webber for one of the Williams race seats for next year but Renault chief Flavio Briatore, manager of Webber, supposedly gave Williams an ultimatum -- Webber or Fisichella, not both. Whether or not that is true, Fisichella had already made his mind up.

"I have not allowed myself to be influenced by the attractiveness of the offers made by the team principals who contacted me," he said. "I have chosen the team that will permit me to fight for the world championship."

Fisichella currently drives for Sauber but never made any pretence that he hoped the Swiss squad would lead him to a bigger team. The Italian gave thanks to Peter Sauber and Briatore for their support and to the latter for giving him his Formula One debut.

"I thank Peter Sauber," Giancarlo acknowledged. "Without his help I would not have succeeded in realising the dream of my career to drive for a top team. I also thank Flavio Briatore. He launched me into the world of Formula One and it is again he who relaunches me in the most important year for his team. I shall not disappoint him."

Fisichella will partner Renault's star Fernando Alonso in 2005. The Spaniard, who turned 23 this week, is reportedly happy with the team's choice of Giancarlo, whom he likes. Alonso and Trulli's renowned amicability was one of the reasons Renault cited as reason for change -- friendship is not good for team competitiveness, apparently.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Mark Webber , Fernando Alonso , Flavio Briatore , Peter Sauber
Teams Sauber , Williams , Benetton