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Exclusive interview - Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella 16 Oct 2007

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Preparations, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Thursday, 27 September 2007 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R27 
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Friday, 28 September 2007 Pitstop for Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Fuji Speedway, Fuji, Japan, Sunday, 30 September 2007 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren and Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault during the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 7 October 2007

With one race to go, speculation abounds concerning the future of Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella. After the glory years of 2005 and 2006, this season has been tough for the French team and Fisichella is yet to finish higher than fourth.

The Italian, however, is determined to turn his fortunes around in Brazil this weekend. We caught up with him to discuss his expectations for the Interlagos race and to find out more about his plans for 2008…

Q: Giancarlo, you were fighting very hard in China but the end result didn’t reflect the effort you’d put in. Why do you think that was?
Giancarlo Fisichella:
Yes indeed, I fought very hard from the very first lap. We work as a team and as a team we make decisions, including strategy. Many times this year we have made decisions to get the best result for the team given the equipment. Sometimes, like in Shanghai, these decisions do not highlight the performance of the driver.

Q: Will the same problems affect your race in Brazil?
GF:
I go into every race weekend with the same objective - to win. Of course, this year I have had to make some compromises. I just hope to end this season with a podium.

Q: In Japan, you finished in fifth and your team mate Heikki Kovalainen ended the race on the podium. Was it just a lucky day?
GF:
It was down to strong performances by both drivers. Only three drivers in Fuji did not spin, go off the track or have an accident and two of them were Renaults!

Q: The Brazilian Grand Prix will mark the end of your current contract with Renault. How is your search for a 2008 cockpit progressing?
GF:
I am on stand by, as requested from Renault. I would be very happy to stay. I have done a good job - the best given the circumstances!

Q: When do you expect to know your whereabouts for next season?
GF:
Soon I hope. I would like to be able to start getting excited about testing the new car with no electronics. It will be a new challenge!

Q: You have been with Renault for three years. In 2005 and 2006, the team dominated both championships. Is it your ambition to stay on with the squad?
GF:
Yes. I have a strong feeling I have to finish the job…

Q: The unresolved question of where Fernando Alonso will drive next season has brought the driver market to a halt. Is it frustrating that your future may depend on someone else’s decision?
GF:
A little because we have to wait to see what another driver does. But the same happened with Michael (Schumacher) - so we will have to see…

Q: Alonso was your team mate for two years so you must know him pretty well. Can you explain why there has been such an intense rivalry between him and Lewis Hamilton?
GF:
Maybe Fernando thought life at McLaren was going to be a little different. Maybe he cannot get along with Ron (Dennis) as he did with Flavio (Briatore). For sure, he does not play cards with him…

Q: Is it necessary for a Formula One driver to be a little egotistical to be successful?
GF:
Yes, we are all selfish, but you must stay professional.

Q: Have you ever thought of retirement?
GF:
No way! I am as physically fit as a young boy - and I have the experience…