Giancarlo Fisichella has been linked to a drive with Ferrari for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, though the Force India denies he has spoken to the team.
In a media briefing ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, the Italian explained why it would be a dream come true for him to race for the Scuderia at Monza, and how he would make the most of such an opportunity. AUTOSPORT was there to hear what he had to say.
Q. The team is making very good progress. Are you happy?
Giancarlo Fisichella: Actually it is quite impressive the job they did so far. They still didn't score points but we did a fantastic job so far. We reduced the gap to all the other teams and we are quite close to getting in the top ten and scoring points. We got quite close in the last four or five races to scoring a point - especially with last upgrade in Valencia we made another step forward. I think the team has made one of the biggest improvements in the paddock, including the big teams, so it's great for a team like us. A small team with limited budget, what they did so far, is very impressive.
Q. Does it fire up your motivation?
GF: Yes. It is an extra motivation. For Valencia we were quite happy. Unfortunately I was very unlucky at the end of the qualifying session with the last set of tyres. The first lap was aborted and the second I went wide on the oil - otherwise I would have had the same lap as Adrian. And then there was the possibility, enough for one tenth, to get in the top ten so, we were there. In the race, we were quite close to Red Bull and one of the Brawns and the BMWs. It is quite encouraging.
Q. Has it fired up your motivation to stay in Formula 1 next season?
GF: It's motivation for the next few races, for the end of the season, and for the future. We'll see. I didn't talk with Force India, I didn't talk with other teams. I'm just want to concentrate on our main target, which is to score points and then we will see.
Q. Your name has been linked with Ferrari for the remainder of the season and then maybe in a test role next year. What's your reaction to that?
GF: Actually there is quite a lot of speculation on that. I think there is a lot of rumour and I have seen my name on the top of the list everywhere. But Ferrari didn't call me so for me it's nothing. If they had called me I could say something more, but I have not contacted them. I'm a Force India driver, it's as simple as that.
Q. Your manager Enrico Zanarini has quite good contacts with Ferrari from the days of Eddie Irvine, so has he been in touch with them.
GF: He has a lot of friends. I have a lot of friends too. Stefano (Domenicali) and even the president (Luca di Montezemolo), but nobody asked anything about my contract, about my possibility to race in the future, like for Monza or whatever. So far nothing happened.
Q. But you must be quite happy your name is at the top of the list?
GF: I'm very pleased. But I would be happy to have the opportunity.
Q. Luca Badoer said it was his dream come true, would that be the same for you?
GF: For sure, it's a dream for all the drivers. Especially for me, as an Italian driver, let's say at the end of my career, so it's a very good opportunity. It would be nice.
Q. What about the pressure of an Italian racing for Ferrari at Monza?
GF: I have 220 grands prix so far, it would be very good pressure for me. It's not a big problem, it would be a very good opportunity but so far I can't say anymore.
Q. Are you surprised that it has been so difficult for Badoer?
GF: Yeah. I thought Luca was able to do much better than that, even though he didn't drive in the last few months, and he didn't race since 1997 [sic]. But he was struggling quite a lot. Obviously there was a lot of pressure for him with the new circuit and everything. Probably here is going to be better, but he needs to do a big improvement compared to the last race.
Q. Have you spoken to him about it at all?
GF: I spoke with him a little bit before the parade. He was little bit sad because he was not happy about it, but he was quite confident for the race.
Q. If you don't carry on next year, there is a real risk of there being no Italian drivers in F1 in 2010...
GF: There is something even about Jarno [Trulli], so it is going to be strange. My target is still to race in Formula 1, and obviously I want to be in a good situation. Even with Force India would be nice but we need to score points and be fighting for the podium, otherwise it's tough for me after many years in F1 to still find the motivation.
Q. How would you rate your chances of being in F1 next year?
GF: For me it's 50/50. In the balance.
Q. But winning at Monza would help wouldn't it?
GF: Winning Monza and the next few races would help! Even Rubens is doing quite well. There was nothing for him at the end of last season and now he is fighting for the championship so anything can happen.