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Fisichella aiming to end year on a high 14 Oct 2005

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, 13 October 2005

As the final race of the gruelling but dramatic 2005 season draws ever closer, Giancarlo Fisichella says he is looking to bookend the year with a second victory for Renault.

Since winning the opening round in Australia the Italian has had a tough time but came within a lap of winning in Japan last weekend. He would now like nothing better than to get on to the top step of the podium and to help Renault secure their first constructors’ world championship as a manufacturer.

“I was clearly disappointed after the race because I did more than 40 laps in first place and losing it in the last lap is not great,” he says of Suzuka. “But Kimi was much quicker than me, especially in the straight. He was more than 13 km/h quicker than me, and I think because he drove most of the race behind other cars he saved the tyres. The wear was much less than mine. So at the end he could come out of the slow-speed corners much quicker than me. In the last chicane I tried to defend my position as the previous lap and the previous lap was okay, but on the last lap he was just able to be quicker than me at the exit and at the end of the straight there was one car in front of me and I couldn’t defend my position. But don’t forget two years ago I won in Brazil and I overtook Kimi in the last corner. It is motor racing, it can happen.”

Fisichella remains puzzled about his lack of straight-tline speed, which he feels was the crucial factor. “Let’s say the downforce level compared to Fernando was the same, even Fernando was about 4-5 km/h quicker than me. I think because the engine has not gone back to France and was not back on the dyno, my engine lost a bit of power and that is one of the reasons why I was much, much slower than Kimi [who had a fresh engine]. Earlier in the season we were sometimes quicker than McLaren, sometimes the same, sometimes slower, but this I think depends on the level of downforce. Maybe in Suzuka we were running with a bit too much downforce.”

Shanghai will see the demise of three teams for whom Fisichella has driven: Minardi, Jordan and Sauber. “It is not my fault!” he joked. “It is bad, it is sad to see that and for Formula One in general it is really sad, but I think all the mechanics will stay joining the new teams and that is much more important than that.”