Preview: Fisichella Aims for Monaco Glory

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella senses Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix could be his chance to emerge from the shadow of Championship-leading teammate Fernando Alonso

Preview: Fisichella Aims for Monaco Glory

Italian Fisichella feels completely at home on the tight and twisty street circuit, having finished second and third there with Benetton, and has never had a better opportunity to win Formula One's glamour race.

"I love the sensation of driving through the streets and really pushing to the limit," said the winner of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. "In the past, I have always gone well in Monaco, and it should be the same this year."

Renault won in the Mediterranean principality last year with Fisichella's compatriot Jarno Trulli, now second in the standings with Toyota, and have made a dream start to 2005.

Only McLaren, with Kimi Raikkonen triumphant in the last Spanish Grand Prix, have beaten them in five races this year, with Alonso victorious in three.

Alonso has 44 points to Trulli's 26 and Raikkonen's 17.

While champions Ferrari are desperate to end a six-race losing streak extending back to last October, the signs are that Michael Schumacher, with only 10 points so far, will be struggling to break the blank in Monte Carlo.

Fisichella, ending a dismal run of three retirements with fifth place in Barcelona, hopes to be the man of the moment despite Alonso's obvious claims.

"I am in the right place in first qualifying, near the end of the session when track conditions will be best, and that means I can fight to get a good grid position, which is so important in Monaco," he said.

One Better

"It feels like I have broken out of the cycle I was in, where I kept on having to qualify early...I have already finished third and second in Monaco. It would be wonderful to go one better this year."

Schumacher has not given up hope of a sixth Monaco win, which would equal the late Ayrton Senna's record tally, after being thwarted last year by a collision with Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams in the tunnel behind the safety car.

The German's retirement from the last race has made it difficult, however, by forcing him to run early in first qualifying.

Trulli will also be one to watch as he tries to repeat last year's heroics and bring Toyota their first Grand Prix win.

McLaren are the team with the best recent form in Monaco and another victory for them would allow engine partners Mercedes to celebrate their 200th Championship start in style.
 
Raikkonen will be a big threat, particularly if he takes his third pole position in a row since Monaco is a circuit where overtaking is extremely difficult.

Colombian teammate Montoya cannot be ruled out either, despite the lingering effects of his recent shoulder injury, having won the race with Williams in 2003.

Alonso, who is chasing his sixth successive podium finish, feels Monaco will be far closer than Spain was.

"I don't think the race gave a representative picture of the difference between our cars, because Kimi was able to pull away too easily in the first stint as I was struggling with the car," said the Spaniard.

"I think we will be much more equal in Monaco, and I am feeling very confident," added the 23-year-old, who crashed last year while Renault were heading for a one-two finish.

"We will be aiming for the podium from the start of the weekend and then we need to see how things unfold, and how we can fight for more."

shares
comments
Grapevine: Ecclestone Denies Adelaide Switch
Previous article

Grapevine: Ecclestone Denies Adelaide Switch

Next article

Karthikeyan 'Sure' he will Stay in F1

Karthikeyan 'Sure' he will Stay in F1
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Plus

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022