Fisichella is set for Renault 28 Jul 2004
It has been a busy morning on the driver-signing front, with Renault also confirming that Giancarlo Fisichella will be driving for the team next season, leaving Sauber at the end of the year.
"We are delighted to welcome Giancarlo to the Renault team," said Managing Director Flavio Briatore, "Since we last worked with him in 2001, every aspect of his approach to the sport has matured. I am confident that Fernando and Giancarlo are the drivers we need to achieve our goal of winning the world championship in the coming seasons."
Fisichella already has a long career in Formula One and no fewer than 135 race starts behind him. Yet despite having changed team seven times, he has only ever driven for four teams: Minardi, Jordan, Sauber and Benneton/Renault. The highlight of his career to date was victory in last year's rain-soaked Brazilian Grand Prix after the race was red flagged.
Fisichella's arrival at Renault follows the announcement made by Jarno Trulli at the German Grand Prix that he will be leaving the team at the end of the season.
Sauber boss Peter Sauber also made a statement, wishing Fisichella well with his new team:
"Of course I regret that Giancarlo will leave us at the end of the season. He's not only a first-class racer but a very pleasant person as well. Nevertheless I understand his decision. Giancarlo put his cards on the table right in the beginning, telling me that he wanted to use Sauber as a springboard for his career, and now he has managed to do this. After Heinz-Harald Frentzen [Williams] and Kimi Raikkonen [McLaren], he is the third driver we're helping to take the leap into one of the top teams. This fact speaks for the quality of Sauber Petronas. Obviously we have an environment in which drivers can develop their capabilities to optimum levels."