Fisichella exclusive: special conditions needed to score in 08 03 Oct 2008
When the Indian guests in the Formula One Paddock Club at Singapores Marina Bay circuit saw Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella running in P2, pandemonium broke out, with fans jumping on tables, clapping hands, screaming and laughing - it didnt matter that Fisichella could retain the position only briefly. And the Italian himself admits that seeing P2 on the pit board brought back many happy memories and reenergised his belief that the team could yet win some points this season
Q: Giancarlo, Singapore was quite a race for you. You started from the pits, then ran up in P2, before finally ending the race last. Can you analyse your Singapore ride for us?
Giancarlo Fisichella: Well, we chose a two-stop strategy which we converted into a one-stop after the first safety car. We needed the second safety car after our pit stop and we would have scored points as - as you saw - I was able to defend my position well when I was ahead of the field. In the last four laps I had a small technical problem and I was forced to surrender a few positions, but at that stage I had already lost hope of scoring.
Q: Reading P2 on your pit board must have reminded you of your more glorious days. How did that feel?
GF: Good, really! Even if I knew I would lose it so soon after the pit stop. My hopes hinged, however, on the possibility of another safety car - but it came too late.
Q: Saturday was a disaster for you with an accident in free practice and only two laps covered in qualifying before a puncture took you out
GF: Our car didnt seem to have enough pace to keep up with the rest, so I knew we were going to be last and second to last. When I took off over the kerbs of the chicane I was pushing to the limit, so I have few regrets.
Q: There was much hope attached to the recent introduction of the team's seamless-shift gearbox. Did it live up to its promise?
GF: It has enabled us to keep up with the rest of the field.
Q: Force India are the only team not to have scored a point in 2008. Are you hopeful for the remaining three races? Last year you did quite well in Japan with Renault
GF: To score we need special conditions, as the car this year does not have enough speed for us to do it in any other way. Maybe rain and safety cars will come to our rescue! Lets see.
Q: The car seems to be struggling - is its development going backwards?
GF: No, thats not correct. We are always moving forward and we have kept up with the field with honour. But every other team has done the same and this is why our progress is so little noticed.
Q: How would you like to end the season?
GF: Score points - one point.
Q: You will stay with the team in 2009. No doubt you've got a list of improvements you want the team to make. Can you reveal any?
GF: Well, I cannot say right now, but the technical package we have been promised is very exciting and hopefully it will be revealed soon.
Q: It is an open secret in the paddock that there have been frictions at management level within the team. For such a young team, this seems to be rather counterproductive. Has the tension had any influence on the performance of the team?
GF: To tell you the truth I have not noticed any friction. I guess every team wants to be competitive, and for this reason there are discussions among team members and maybe arguments. But we have never suffered because of that. If anything, our position down the field has been a bigger incentive to continue to push. I only know that my boss, Vijay Mallya, has promised me a good car in 2009 and I trust him one hundred percent!