Fisichella Ready for Title Fight

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella says he has what it takes to fight for this year's Formula One title after his victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix

Fisichella Ready for Title Fight

"People were impressed by how I started first in Melbourne and I stayed there to the end. It was the first time, I know, but it was natural for me," Fisichella told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Fighting for the title doesn't scare me. It will be another challenge for me. I know I can go fast, I won't disappoint."

Fisichella won in Melbourne after starting from pole position and then leading from start to finish. His victory in Australia was the second in 142 races.

Spanish teammate Fernando Alonso finished third to give Renault a perfect start to their season. Alonso also drove an impressive race and fought his way back from 13th position onto the podium.

Fisichella believes the rivalry with his teammate will help him during the season.

"He [Alonso]'s not an obstacle, but a motivation to always give my best," added the Italian. "That's why Renault hired us. We have a good relationship, but we are rivals in the car.

"We will battle in qualifying, at the starts, and in the strategies, but I don't think we'll fight against each other in the races, when we are settled in first and second position, because that would endanger the team's result."

World Champion Michael Schumacher failed to finish in Australia after crashing with Williams' Nick Heidfeld, but Fisichella believes it's still too early to rule the Ferrari driver out.

"I don't mind Michael at zero points and myself at ten. But there are still 18 races to go."

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