Q&A with Renaults Giancarlo Fisichella 28 Jun 2007
Though Giancarlo Fisichella has enjoyed storming drives at the past two races, his score remains the same as it did when he left Monte-Carlo in May. Here the Italian explains how much the Renault R27s performance has improved since the start of the season and why he is itching to start driving at Magny-Cours this weekend
Q: Giancarlo, two great races in North America - but no more points on your championship tally. What were your feelings as you headed back to Rome after Indy?
Giancarlo Fisichella: Mixed feelings to be honest. As soon as I started running in Canada, I knew that we had taken a good step forward with the car. We were quick, consistent and I thought that in the race we could fight with Ferrari and BMW - and that was how it turned out. Then in Indy, the car was good again. Maybe the feeling was not quite as positive, but we had a good strategy, and got into the top ten quite easily in qualifying. Then I had a spin, and that meant zero points. I felt really sorry for the team after that, but we have to look at the positives. The car is getting better all the time, and that's thanks to the hard work of everybody at the track and the factory.
Q: You had a spectacular race at Indianapolis, climbing back through the field
GF: Yeah, it was good fun. But I'd rather have a lonely race and score points, than all that overtaking and finish P9! It just showed that the car was working really well. I had 36 laps of fuel in the car for qualifying, and even with that fuel load, I was overtaking guys off-line through the infield as I came through the pack. So we had a good strategy, and good potential. It was fun passing those cars, but ultimately, I lost too much time doing so and that meant I couldn't fight for the points.
Q: Giancarlo, this will be your third French Grand Prix as a Renault driver. A special feeling?
GF: Without a doubt. I have had the best years of my career so far with Renault, so it is going to be a great feeling to be representing the team again at Magny-Cours. The motivation in the team goes up a notch for this race, especially for the engine team who are racing in front of their friends and family. Does it make us try harder? Of course not. But it makes a good result extra special. We will doing our maximum to achieve that on Sunday.
Q: You mention the Renault personnel who will be in the crowd. Do you get a chance to meet them over the weekend?
GF: We will be doing some promotional activities in Paris before the race. Heikki (Kovalainen), Nelson (Piquet Jr) and myself will be visiting the Technocentre in Guyancourt on Wednesday, to meet the personnel there. They do a great job supporting the F1 team, both in terms of the human support and motivation from all our fans at Renault and also some important technical work behind the scenes. This will be our chance to thank them all and we're looking forward to it.
Q: Looking at the Magny-Cours circuit, how tough a challenge is it?
GF: I think it's quite a selective circuit, because the car needs to be strong in every area to be quick. There are some very high speed corners, sharp changes of direction, and some heavy braking and traction areas. That makes it a hard circuit for the tyres too. Temperatures are generally very high, and the tyres quite soft, so you have to find a good set-up to make them last well through the stint, especially the softer compound we will be running this weekend. Exiting the slow corners is tough on the rear tyres as well, while the fast corners give the fronts a hard time. So you need a consistent balance to avoid taking too much out of the tyres.
Q: And in terms of results, what are you expecting?
GF: Firstly, to score more points, that's a priority. After that, we have to race with BMW and try to beat them. They are the team we are fighting in the championship, and we have to try and out-score them in each race from now on. It's not going to be easy, but we know that our car is improving all the time, we are making steps forward, and the motivation is there to do the job. I can't wait to get out on track and start working.