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Interview with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella 03 Apr 2007

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2007

Last year in Kuala Lumpur, Giancarlo Fisichella secured his only win of 2006 after dominating the Malaysian Grand Prix from pole. Speaking to Renault’s press office, Fisichella reveals his expectations for this weekend’s race…

Q: Giancarlo, you scored the team's first points of the season at the last race in Australia. How was your race?
Giancarlo Fisichella:
It was a tough race for me. We weren't on the pace of the leaders, and I needed to be aggressive all the way through to maintain my position and stay ahead of Massa, who was attacking hard in the final laps. We knew beforehand that we weren't fast enough, but the first race gave us a clearer picture of where we stand - and showed us the areas we need to focus on.

Q: The Malaysian Grand Prix has the reputation of being a particularly difficult race. Do you have to do any special preparation?
GF:
Without a doubt, this is the toughest race of the season - not just physically, but mentally too. The high temperatures and humidity make things very tough for the drivers and the cars too. For me personally, though, there are very good memories from my win last year, and I am prepared for the race this time round. I trained hard over the winter, I am in peak condition - and ready to go.

Q: The temperatures and humidity levels are among the highest of the whole season, how do you take these factors into account when setting up the car?
GF:
We tested in high temperatures in Bahrain during the winter, and that allowed us to make good progress. The conditions will be even more extreme in Malaysia, but we already know what we need to do in terms of cooling the car and engine, which is always a priority. Since then, of course, the team has tested in Sepang as well, so I think we will be well prepared for the race.

Q: Do you think the R27 can perform well in Sepang?
GF:
Our aim for the second race is to have a car that is totally reliable - and quicker than in Melbourne. Renault has always performed well in Sepang, and I think the R27 will be okay there too. The team has been working hard since Australia, and I believe things are moving in the right direction, with new developments on the car. Step by step, we are hoping to make up ground on the leaders.