Italian star raring to go ahead of Renault return
Giancarlo Fisichella will test for Renault next week, resuming his relationship with the team he last raced for back in 2001, when they were still known as Benetton. Ahead of his first taste of the R24, he spoke about his aims for the forthcoming sessions.
Q: You visited Enstone two weeks ago - what were your feelings?
GF: It was quite an emotional day when I went back there for the first time, but everything went very smoothly. I did my seat fitting, and there were no problems at all getting comfortable in the car, and then met people around the factory. In fact, I left that evening even more excited about next year. I am looking forward to the challenge.
Q: You will begin testing for the team at Barcelona next week: what will be your objectives?
GF: The sessions between now and Christmas will be about learning. We are using the old car so it is not my ultimate speed that will be important - it is about getting used to working with the team again, how I can drive the tyres and just understanding the whole package. There is a lot of work to do.
Q: How big a task will it be for you to adjust to the Michelin tyres?
GF: I think it will be quite a difficult element of our programme, to work out and understand their behaviour as well as testing the new specification tyres for 2005. It is another thing that I need to adapt to, but we have enough time this winter to get on top of it without any problems.
Q: What are your aims for the winter testing period?
GF: By the end of the winter, I want to be completely ready to evaluate the new car as soon as it starts running. We hope that it will be quick straight away and it will be important to get plenty of mileage on it and on the engine before the first race. That will be a demanding period for the entire team and I want to make sure I am fully prepared for it.
Fisichella originally joined Benetton for the 1998 season, during which he scored two second places and took his first Formula One pole position. He moved to Jordan in 2002, achieving his maiden Grand Prix win with the team the following year, and then switched to Sauber for 2004.