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Fisichella: 2009 could be great opportunity for Force India 27 Jan 2009

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 1 November 2008 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1.
Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 19 November 2008 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 with his engineer. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 19 November 2008.  
  
Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 battle for position.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 2 November 2008

From a seat at Renault to one at Force India, Giancarlo Fisichella has experienced both ends of the Formula One spectrum over the past few years. But for 2009, Fisichella is hopeful he can make a return to the sharp end of the grid, thanks to Force India’s new technical partnership and this season’s extensive rule changes.

Last year the team announced they were to end their engine-supply contract with Ferrari in favour of a new affiliation with McLaren, while new regulations coming into force for 2009 see slick tyres return and downforce levels dramatically reduced.

“We have a better chance than last year, but nobody knows how things will work out with the new rules,” the Italian told Force India’s official website. “It could all change, especially with the slick tyres, and different downforce levels. I think it’s very important to build a good car for those rules, and to try to run as soon as possible with the new car with the slicks. With the new partnerships I think it’s a great opportunity for us.”

After finishing the 2007 drivers’ championship eighth with Renault, Fisichella was a lowly 19th in the standings in 2008, with his best result a 10th-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, with 13 seasons under his belt, Fisichella is used to the highs and lows of Formula One racing and is confident of better results to come.

“(Last year) we were unlucky not to be able to score some points for the team,” he added. “For sure it’s not as you’d hope, but we have to hope that when the chances come in 2009 we will be there. It was tough mentally, but every time I sit in a car I do my best - it’s your job, so you have to do as well as you can, I just hope that we have a better car for 2009!”

It’s expected Fisichella and team mate Adrian Sutil will have to wait until March to sample Force India's 2009 car for the first time, as the team work to integrate the McLaren-Mercedes components into the VJM02’s design.