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Points dream eludes Force India clutch in Brazil.

Though understandably overshadowed by the dramatic title fight, Giancarlo Fisichella produced one of the undoubted starring performances of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos at the weekend – at one point even threatening to challenge Kimi Raikkonen.

The experienced Italian was having an uneventful race – the last of the season, and therefore Force India's last chance to break its unenviable points duck in 2008 – until a bold decision to pit early for slick tyres on the still damp track surface on only lap two paid off richly, as he found himself in fifth position once all the front-runners had belatedly followed suit.

Not just that, but from there the 35-year-old Roman set about harrying the Ferrari of 2007 Formula 1 World Champion Raikkonen for fourth, and though he would slip slowly down the order after Lewis Hamilton had forced his way past, his pace remained more than respectable – his fastest lap just two tenths of a second adrift of that of the Red Bull Racing of Mark Webber – until a clutch problem unfortunately caused him to plummet down the order to 18th and last place in the final reckoning.

“It was an exciting race,” Fisichella acknowledged, “with so many things happening. It was a good decision to go to the dry tyres after the safety car came out, and then it was looking very good.

“This part of the race was fantastic, even though it was very difficult through the first part of the circuit. Turns one and two were particularly bad – almost undriveable – but the rest of the circuit wasn't too bad as there was a dry line. The lap times were getting much better, then for a while I was in the first three and keeping a good pace.

“Unfortunately in the first pit-stop I had a problem with the clutch and dropped right back. In both stops there was no clutch and I lost a lot. In the rain at the end we tried to gamble with the extreme tyres as there was nothing to lose. Despite the result, though, it was an incredible start to the race and we can be pleased with the performance.”

The Silverstone-based minnows' managing director Dr Vijay Mallya and chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne were similarly full of praise for Fisichella's São Paulo showing – one that ended the season in positive fashion, even if the hoped-for points once again failed to materialise – and full of congratulations for the sport's new youngest-ever title-winner.

“First and foremost congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for winning his first world championship in such difficult conditions,” stated Gascoyne. “For us, it was a disappointing end. Giancarlo drove a fantastic race after he made the call to stop and go onto dry tyres.

“It was very wet on the main straight and through sector one – so we were taking a risk – but it was the right call and he drove a very, very competitive first stint. We would have scored points, which would have been an apt result for what has been a difficult season.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India VJM01, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th October 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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A B - Unregistered

November 04, 2008 2:43 PM

F1 is so unpredictable, it''s such a shame that reliability can so often throw a spanner in the works! I have always admired Fisi as a driver and a person, he has been dealt some bad luck on ocassions. His wins have often been is strange circumstances but are wins none the less, I read a really good article about his career in F1 racing mid session. I hope that the good consistent drivers like him, Rosberg and Button have much more competitive cars next year and hopefully the rule changes will even up the playing field in 2009.



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