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Fisichella rules out paying to drive 04 Jan 2008

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 16 September 2007 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday, 4 December 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

As speculation over his Formula One future continues, former Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella has insisted he is not prepared to buy his way back onto the grid for 2008.

Fisichella was dropped by Renault at the end of last season and, although he tested for the Force India team in December, still has no confirmed drive for the coming season.

Now, following suggestions in the media that paying his way may be Fisichella’s only route into an ‘08 race seat, the Italian has responded in somewhat unusual fashion via his personal website.

“I do not pay to drive, I get paid to drive,” he said in a brief, three-point statement. “I do not bring sponsors to the team, the team brings sponsors to me,” he added, concluding with, “If I had 10 million bucks I'd stay home and watch F1 on TV!”

Fisichella has spent the past 12 years competing in Formula One racing, having made his debut with Minardi back in 1996. He has since raced for Jordan, Benetton, Sauber and Renault, winning a total of three Grands Prix.