Melbourne victory aside, 2005 was a crushing disappointment for Giancarlo Fisichella. He had a car quick enough to win the championship, yet a combination of technical problems, the vagaries of a flawed qualifying system, and occasional underperformances meant that 'Fisico' stood on the podium only three times all year.
Bahrain last week looked like another chapter in this miserable story, as a down-on-power engine handicapped Fisichella in qualifying, and turned him into a roadblock in the race until a hydraulic failure brought the frustration to an end. All this was rendered insignificant by the death of his childhood friend and karting buddy Pietro Saitta in an accident on the same day.
Prior to Malaysia, Fisichella optimistically suggested that maybe 2006 would prove to be an inversion of 2005. Rather than a superb opening race preceding a year of tribulations, perhaps this time he would get all the infelicity out of the way in the first round and then get on with winning races.