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Briatore: Fisichella has Matured

Renault team chief Flavio Briatore commended Giancarlo Fisichella's win in Australia last weekend and said the Italian had changed significantly since driving for the team four years ago

Fisichella drove for Renault - then named Benetton - between 1998 and 2001. He left the team for Jordan after acrimonious relationship with Briatore, who claimed the Italian asked for too much money.

But Briatore says Fisichella has matured since.

"I wanted [Fisichella] with me again because I understood it was his year, and that he's matured," the Renault chief told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He's like the brother of the one that raced with us back in the Benetton days. Why do I say so? He knows why. But people change. I can't deny there had been problems, but now I have the Fisico I wanted, and together with [Fernando] Alonso they form the best pair in the world."

Briatore also said the Australian Grand Prix, where Fisichella finished first and Alonso third, was an accurate reflection of the team's top form, stating the team could have finished one better.

"We've grown step by step, each year with a more ambitious objective," Briatore said. "I'm happy we've won immediately in Australia, the first GP of the year, because I spent the winter saying that this could be our year.

"However, I felt some skepticism, as many didn't believe me because they say I'm a discotheque-type of guy, one that knows nothing about bolts. Instead, if it wasn't for Jacques Villeneuve slowing down Fernando Alonso, we would have scored a one-two in Australia."

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