Fisichella ready for the big one

Giancarlo Fisichella knows he has a point to prove. After several seasons when the plaudits he received off the track were far higher than the quality of the machinery at his disposal, the Italian heads into 2005 knowing that he must now deliver on ever raising expectations.

Fisichella ready for the big one

Making his return to Renault (nee Benetton) after a three-year spell at Jordan and Sauber, Fisichella may now finally have the accolade of being a grand prix winner, but he still has yet to have had a season when he could head into every F1 race weekend knowing he has the chance of victory.

All that may be about to change, however. Renault's new R25 is already earning rave reviews after its initial testing outing and, as autosport.com's Jonathan Noble found out at the official launch of the car in Monaco, Fisichella's confidence is certainly riding high.

I am optimistic. I am optimistic first of all because I drove the car last week in Valencia, it was just one day, but already the feedback was good straightaway on the first run. I went down to 1m11s, which is a reasonable lap time. The car looks better than last year's car, it is better in rear-end stability, the engine is a little bit stronger, so the package is definitely better than last year. I know we will have lots of work to do in the next few weeks before the first race, but I feel confident. And tomorrow we will have the answer because we will run in Valencia with all the other teams.

It is really good. I feel very strong physically and mentally especially, because I now have the chance to fight for the win, and to be a driver for a top team, and this is very important for me.

Yes, of course. I will do my best as usual, as I have done in the past. But this year I know to have a better chance than in the past. I will try to make it everywhere and to score lots of points, to win some races and to do my best everywhere.

Not bad, honestly. I have done two race distances with the same set of tyres and the wear of the tyre was really good. I felt that in the last 10-15 laps I lost a lot of grip and the car was really difficult to drive, so it is going to be interesting to watch the race and see what happens in the last 10-15 laps. I think it is going to be important to not make mistakes. Whoever makes no mistakes is going to be the winner.

Very, very good. We spent a week in Kenya at the training camp and it was a very nice week. We did a lot of hard work but we had the chance to meet each other, especially Fernando, and there is a good mentality to win between him and me. And even Flavio was very nice with us and we had a good week.

Fernando was a bit more experienced than me with the team, but don't forget I drove with them a few years ago and most of the people are the same as before, so in a way I feel a good atmosphere and a good feeling. I will have the same chance, I will have the same car, and there is no number one in the team - which is very important.

Yes, it is really important. I told you that it is going to be very important for me to be quick straight away and for me I start my training very early this year to be ready for the first race. I feel very strong mentally because I know I have a good chance and a good car, so let's wait and see.

No, it is not perfect. We have lots of work to do. At the start it was great because usually when the car is new you spend lots of time to make a better set-up and it is going to be important in the next few weeks for us to work on improve the set-up and make it reliable, which is important. The more reliable the car, the better things we are going to be able to do.

Yes. It was quite difficult and quite tough for me to be motivated, but it is in my mentality always to be 100 percent, even if the car is not quick enough I do my best when I jump into the car. In fact, with Jordan I won that race in Brazil.

For sure I have more experience and for sure I am a little bit better, but I don't want to say I am quicker. I can do better during the races because I can control a bit more the car and I can drive with a bit more confidence.

I hope so. Definitely. I think Ferrari is still going to be team number one. They have a fantastic package but because this year we will have a big change in the rules anything can happen. Maybe if the tyres didn't work, or their chassis is not good, you can see some other teams to win everywhere.

Not really. The most important thing is to win. I hope to have the chance to fight for the win this year and then we will see.

Yes, it is maybe more tiring because the car is sliding more and mentally and physically it is going to be, not a huge difference, but different.

Considering last year the BAR improvement, it will be great for us to beat them. But I think this year McLaren is going to be strong and obviously Ferrari. BAR has a lot of problems with the engines, I think they blew up three engines during three day's testing, so it will have been difficult for them to make some mileage and to improve the car, but it is not our problem. We had a couple of problems in the first few days, but in the next days there was good reliability and now we are looking forward to the test.

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