Giancarlo Fisichella

2021-03-14 23:00

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Giancarlo Fisichella

In Rome, January 14, 1973, one of the most talented drivers in the history of Motorsport was born. At the age of eight, Giancarlo Fisichella began rac


In Rome, January 14, 1973, one of the most talented drivers in the history of Motorsport was born. At the age of eight, Giancarlo Fisichella began racing karts in the Pista d'Oro circuit in Guidonia, in the Province of Rome. In 1984 he competed with the Minikart Sixty and obtained fourteen victories. Between 1985 and 1987 he won thirty-five races in the Cento Nazionale category, and in 1988 he moved to the Cento Internazionale, winning the Italian championship for regional teams.


He even scores pole at the world championship but retires when he's in the lead; he gets a total of twenty-one wins. In the 1989 season, in which he won twenty-two races, he was second in the junior European championship, fourth in the world championship and first in the intercontinental championship where he starts from pole. In 1990 he placed fifth in the Italian championship and second in the world championship and third in the intercontinental, obtaining fifteen victories during the year. In 1991 he was again vice-champion of Europe.


In the three-year period 1992-1994 Giancarlo took part in the Italian Formula 3 Championship with RC Motorsport's Dallara-Opel. In 1992 he won the Imola Grand Prix at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit and finished in eighth place in the championship. In 1993 he was second in the drivers' standings; he also participates in the Monaco Grand Prix where he signs the pole position and finishes second at the finish. In 1994 he won ten out of twenty races, scored eleven pole positions, obtained three hundred nine points and won the drivers' title. He also wins the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix and one heat at the Macau Grand Prix.


In 1995 he competed in the International Touring Car Championship and in the DTM with an Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI from Alfa Corse 2. The best result of the season is second place in race 2 at Mugello while in the two Championships he ranks tenth in the International Touring Car Championship and fifteenth in the DTM. The following year, he participates again in the International Touring Car Championship with the Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI of the TV Spielfilm team. He finishes second in Estoril in race 1, third in Diepholz in race 1, third in race 1 and second in race 2 in Magny-Cours, third in Mugello in race 1 and second in Suzuka in race 2. The Italian scores the lap fast in the two tests at Magny-Cours and in the second at Interlagos, and finished the championship in sixth place in the drivers' standings.


Before becoming an official driver in the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Giancarlo worked as a test driver for Minardi during the 1995 season, and in the same year he also carried out a test with the Ferrari 412 T2 at the Fiorano circuit. Like other young Italian drivers, Fisichella made his debut in Formula 1 with Minardi: in the 1996 season he took part in eight Grands Prix with the M195-B, obtaining eighth place in Canada as his best result, thus failing to collect points. For the 1997 championship, Fisichella moved to Jordan, where he had Ralf Schumacher as his partner. With 197 dispute a good season. He takes the first championship points in San Marino and Monaco, scores the fastest lap in Spain and climbs to the third step of the podium in Canada.


At Hockenheim in qualifying he finished second just a few tenths from pole-man Gerhard Berger, in the race he managed to take the lead, albeit for a few laps, but unfortunately a tire bursts with five laps to go. At the Belgian Grand Prix, at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, he starts from the second row and finishes second at the finish, beaten only by Michael Schumacher with Ferrari. He also touches the podium in Monza and Spielberg where he finishes fourth. He closes the season in eighth place with twenty points.


From 1998 to 2001 Fisichella raced with Benetton directed by Flavio Briatore. In 1998 he drives the B198 and has Austrian Alexander Wurz as a teammate. He comes sixth in Brazil, second in Monaco and Canada and fifth in Great Britain. At the Austrian Grand Prix on the A1-Ring he hits his first career pole position beating Jean Alesi, but above all in front of Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher. In the race he was forced to retire due to an accident with Jean Alesi. He gets the last point of the season thanks to the sixth place in the Grand Prix of Luxembourg. With the sixteen points he has earned he is ninth in the championship.


For the 1999 season he is still paired with Wurz driving the B199. He immediately scores points at the Australian Grand Prix, San Marino and Monaco. At the Canadian Grand Prix, on the Montréal circuit, he came close to winning by finishing second at the finish line just a few cents behind the winner Mika Häkkinen with McLaren. In the rest of the season he no longer gets any points and is forced to retire on five occasions. He ends the season in ninth place with thirteen points.


In the 2000 championship he competes with the B200 again with Wurz as a companion. He comes fifth at the Australian Grand Prix, second in Brazil, at Interlagos, then out of the points for three consecutive races. After fifth place at the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, he climbs to the low step of the podium in Monaco and Montréal. In the last nine races he collects four placings and five retirements. The only satisfaction of the second part of the season is the third time in qualifying obtained at Hockenheim, but at the end of the year he is still sixth in the drivers' standings with eighteen points.


The fourth and final year at Benetton drives the B201, and the young Briton Jenson Button joins the team. He manages to win only three useful results throughout the season. He is sixth in Brazil, fourth in Germany and third at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps. At the Japanese Grand Prix, in Suzuka, he obtained the sixth place in qualifying, best result of the season. With just eight points earned he is ranked eleventh.


After four years with Benetton, Fisichella returned to Jordan for the 2002 and 2003 seasons; in the 2002 championship he drives the EJ12 and his partner is the Japanese Takuma Satō. Giancarlo only earns points in Austria, Monaco, Canada and Hungary where he gets the fifth time in qualifying. He finishes four races outside the points, does not take part in the French Grand Prix and retires eight times, one of which due to an accident and seven due to car problems. With seven points he is eleventh in the world championship.


The second year, at the wheel of the Jordan EJ13, he was initially joined by the Irishman Ralph Firman and then by the Hungarian Zsolt Baumgartner. After retiring in the first two Grands Prix, in Australia and Malaysia due to mechanical problems, he took part in the Brazilian Grand Prix on the difficult Interlagos Circuit. Due to a strong storm, the start was postponed and made a quarter of an hour later behind the safety car. Fisichella, thanks to good race conduct, manages not to be involved in any collision, makes pit stops at the right time and when the race direction displays the red flag to suspend the race due to the numerous accidents due to torrential rain, he is in head to the Grand Prix.


Due to a timing and lap counting error, Kimi Räikkönen is declared the winner with Fisichella second. Later the FIA ​​notices the mistake and, five days late, declares Fisichella the winner and organizes a new awards ceremony at the San Marino Grand Prix, the following week. In the remaining grands prix of the season he collects seven more retirements and wins a point at the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis. He closes the season in twelfth place with twelve points.


For the 2004 season, Fisichella joined Sauber alongside the young Brazilian Felipe Massa. With the C23 he disputes the championship without obtaining great results but often earning world championship points. After some placings in the first grand prix he gets the sixth place in Spain then retires to Monaco. He still scores points at the Nürburgring, in Montréal, where the fourth-place finish is the best result of the season, at Silverstone, Hungaroring, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Shanghai and Suzuka. In the second part of the season he also manages to do some good qualifying, obtaining the eighth time at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the fifth in Belgium, the seventh in China and Japan. He concludes the season positively with twenty-two points obtained, which earned him eleventh place in the drivers' standings. From the 2005 championship he moved to Renault managed by Flavio Briatore and remained there until the 2007 championship. In the 2005 season he drove the R25 and had the Spaniard Fernando Alonso as a teammate.


At the Australian Grand Prix, at Albert Park, the first race of the season, he won pole position beating Jarno Trulli on Toyota. At the start he maintains the first position, which he temporarily loses during the pit stops, and crosses the finish line first in front of Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso. He retires to Malaysia for a collision, to Bahrain for engine failure and to San Marino for an accident. He arrives fifth in Barcelona, ​​where he sets the fastest lap, twelfth in Monaco, sixth at the Nürburgring then retires to Montreal, due to problems with the hydraulic system, and to Indianapolis. In France he places sixth, fourth in Great Britain and Germany, ninth in Hungary and fourth in Turkey where he starts from the front row. In Monza he hits third place, retires due to an accident at Spa-Francorchamps, finishes fifth at Interlagos, second in Suzuka and fourth in Shanghai starting from the front row. With fifty-eight points obtained, he is fifth in the drivers' championship won by his team-mate Fernando Alonso. Renault wins the constructors' title.


In 2006, still in the team with Fernando Alonso, he competed with the R26. At the first race of the championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, he was forced to retire due to problems with the hydraulic system. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, at the Sepang Circuit, he obtained pole position ahead of Jenson Button on Honda and Nico Rosberg on Williams. He wins the race ahead of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, gaining his third career success.


In Melbourne he starts from the front row and finishes fourth at the finish line, eighth at Imola, sixth at the Nurburgring. He gets the second time in qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix and is third, sixth in Monaco, fourth in Great Britain and Canada where he starts from the front row. He climbs on the third step of the podium in Indianapolis, is sixth in Magny-Cours and Hockenheim, retires in Hungary. He finished sixth in Turkey, fourth in Italy, third in China after starting from the front row, third in Japan and sixth in Brazil. At the end of the season, with seventy-two points, he is fourth in the championship won for the second time by Fernando Alonso. Renault wins the second constructors' title.


In 2007 the Finn Heikki Kovalainen replaced Fernando Alonso who joined McLaren. Driving the uncompetitive R27 Fisichella does not obtain significant results but only some placings. He is fifth in Australia, sixth in Malaysia, seventh in Bahrain, ninth in Spain. At the Monaco Grand Prix, in Monte Carlo, he obtained fourth place, the best result of the season. He is disqualified in Canada, comes ninth in the United States, sixth in France and eighth in Great Britain. He is tenth at the Nurburgring, twelfth at the Hungaroring, ninth in Istanbul.


At the Italian Grand Prix, in Monza, he reaches the finish line twelfth while at Spa-Francorchamps he retires on the first lap due to a broken suspension. In the last three Grands Prix he gets fifth place at Mount Fuji, eleventh in Shanghai and is forced to retire at Interlagos. He ends the season in eighth place with twenty-one points. After leaving Renault he moved to the new Force India team of the Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya to compete in the 2008 and 2009 championships. In 2008, flanked by the German Adrian Sutil, Giancarlo brought the VJM01 to his debut. Out of eighteen Gran Pemi disputed eight times he has to retire and gets the tenth place in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona as the best result. He ends the season without getting world championship points.


In 2009 he drives the new VJM02 and still has Adrian Sutil as a teammate. In the first eleven grands prix he finishes ten without scoring points but retires only in Turkey. At the Belgian Grand Prix, on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, he won a historic pole position, the fourth for the Italian driver, the first for the Indian team. In the race he was beaten only by Kimi Räikkönen with the Ferrari F60 equipped with the KERS system which improves the acceleration of the car. Thanks to this podium he gets the first world championship points for Force India. After the Belgian Grand Prix he left the Indian team to compete with Ferrari in place of the injured Felipe Massa.


On September 3, 2009, a few days after the Belgian Grand Prix, he was hired by Ferrari to replace Luca Badoer, who in turn had replaced the injured Felipe Massa, in the last five races of the season. Arriving in Maranello with great ambitions, he concluded all five races well below expectations, due to the objective difficulties posed by the F60, which is profoundly different from Force India, and by the regulations in force which do not allow private free practice. On his debut with Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix, in Monza, he obtained the fourteenth time in qualifying and ninth place in the race. In Singapore he ranks thirteenth, twelfth in Japan and, starting from last position, tenth in Brazil and sixteenth in Abu Dhabi. In five Grands Prix disputed with Ferrari, Giancarlo does not score any points.


For the 2010 championship the relationship with Ferrari continues with the role of third driver, after having been one step away from signing a contract as a titular driver with Sauber. In the 2011 championship he carries out various sporting and commercial activities for Ferrari. He is an official driver in endurance races and a test driver of Formula 1 single-seaters. He participates in an event at the Parco delle Cascine in Florence driving an F10 and at the Bologna Motor Show he performs a few laps of the track at the wheel of an F10, also simulating a pit stop.


In the 2012 championship, in addition to competing in the Endurance World Championship, he is a Ferrari test driver with sporting and commercial duties. At Moscow City Racing he performs driving an F60 and a FF. Ultimately Giancarlo Fisichella collected much less than the immense talent he proved to have, and unfavourable circumstances did not allow him to fight fairly and on a par with the best drivers in the Formula 1 world championship, thus trying to establish himself as a World Champion.


Alessandro Cappelli



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