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Q&A with Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella 27 Sep 2006

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault with Enrico Zanarini (ITA) Driver Manager.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Race, Indianapolis, USA, 2 July 2006

Last year in China, Renault secured the constructors’ championship. That won’t be happening in Shanghai this weekend, as the French team arrive trailing rivals Ferrari by three points. Nevertheless, Giancarlo Fisichella remains confident they will be competitive enough over the remaining races to defend their title with ease…

Q: Giancarlo, you had a strong drive to fourth place from ninth on the grid in Monza. How optimistic are you about the performance of the R26 at the moment?
Giancarlo Fisichella:
The car's competitiveness was very good in Monza and the one-stop strategy worked well for us. Michelin have done a fantastic job as well, and they have found some very good developments for the tyres. I think the overall situation is looking very positive at the moment.

Q: Renault now lie second in the constructors' championship, just behind Ferrari. Does that change your strategy?
GF:
I don't think so. This has been a very tough championship all the way through the year, and it will go down to Brazil. Ferrari is a strong competitor, but we have clear targets for these races. I am trying to get third in the drivers' championship, Fernando wants to win, and for both those things, we have to beat the Ferraris. If we can do that, then the constructors' championship will be ours. We will be pushing all the way to the end of the season, just as we planned.

Q: Is China a circuit you enjoy?
GF:
The Chinese Grand Prix is a fantastic race. The circuit is amazing, one of the best in the world with a challenging layout and incredible facilities. The people are friendly as well, very enthusiastic about Formula One, and we always get a big crowd on Sunday for the race. This is a really good Grand Prix.

Q: Finally, how do you expect the R26 to perform?
GF:
I think this will be a good circuit for the R26. You have to work hard to find a good balance, because the car has to be good under heavy braking but also stable for the quick corners, so you have to tune the aero and mechanical balance carefully. We were very quick there last year, with Fernando winning and I was fourth even with a drive-through penalty. I believe we can be very competitive in Shanghai.