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Fisichella Upbeat about Chances

Giancarlo Fisichella says he is "very optimistic" following the opening day of the first Grand Prix of the 2005 season in Australia.

Giancarlo Fisichella says he is "very optimistic" following the opening day of the first Grand Prix of the 2005 season in Australia.

The Italian driver, who last month claimed his Renault team will be challenging for victory in Melbourne this weekend, set the 10th fastest time in second practice after not posting a time in the opening session in order to preserve his engine.

Fisichella, however, played down his low position and was still upbeat about his team's chances.

"Positions were not important today, as it was about testing the two tyre compounds," said Fisichella. "We had a good day overall, and did the laps we needed. There is still work to do on the car balance, but I am still very optimistic for the rest of the weekend."

Spanish teammate Fernando Alonso, third in last year's race, wound up seventh quickest in the other R25 car.

"As always on the first day in Melbourne, conditions were very slippery, and the poor grip makes it hard to achieve a good balance on the car," Alonso said. "The tyre choice is not clear at the moment, and we will have to analyse our data this evening in order to make our decision."

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