Fisichella: I can't afford poor season

Giancarlo Fisichella believes he must have a good season in 2009 if he is to have a shot at staying in Formula One for another year

Fisichella: I can't afford poor season

The veteran Italian joined Force India from Renault last year, but endured a disappointing season, finishing without a point for the first time since 1996.

Despite that, Fisichella has stayed on at the Silverstone-based squad, who are hoping to enjoy a stronger season thanks to their partnership with McLaren and Mercedes.

And the Roman driver, 36, is aware that he will have to avoid a repeat of last year if he is to prolong his stay in the sport.

"This is a very important season for me. Should I have a season like last year, then that would make it difficult to extend my career," Fisichella told Autosprint magazine.

"Instead, should I find myself with a car that allows me to consistently run among the mid pack, to get in the points and to throw some surprises, then I could think about doing one or two more years in Formula One.

"I hope I can, because I still feel well. I want to race, I like driving the car. However, I wouldn't like another year like 2008."

Fisichella said the arrival of Simon Roberts from McLaren will help his team move forward, and he also reckons Mike Gascoyne's exit could be good for the squad.

"Well, I had a good relationship with him (Gascoyne), however a lot more was certainly expected on his part," he said. "Not everyone was happy, you could see he struggled to work.

"Obviously I didn't take the decision to replace him, however he's been replaced by a high-profile person like Simon Roberts from McLaren.

"At the start I was a bit worried, you know. By contrast, as soon as I met him, he immediately made me very calm. He's the kind of guy that comes to you, talks to you, stays in the garage, looks at the car. You can see he's passionate about it."

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