Giancarlo Fisichella may have shown that it is possible pass on the tight infield section of Indianapolis' road course, but the Italian took very little comfort from a battling display in the United States Grand Prix.

Planning to run a one-stop strategy, rare amongst qualifiers in the top ten, Fisichella's gameplan was severely compromised by a mistake on the second lap, which saw him spin on his way into turn four and drop from eighth to 19th.

Fired up by the error, the Renault team leader embarked on a fightback, overtaking every car up to eleventh place before making his first stop, including two robust moves, on Alex Wurz and Tonio Liuzzi, on the short chute between turns six and seven - not a recognised passing place. After taking on fuel and tyres, however, he was unable to make up any more ground, despite being able to extend his advantage over the cars behind him, ending the race in ninth spot courtesy of late retirements..

"I am just really sorry about the result today," he sighed, "I lost the rear end going into turn four on lap two, and that compromised my whole race.

"We had planned to do a one-stop strategy and, even with the heavy fuel load, I was able to pass guys quite easily on my way back through the field. The pace was very strong today, and I even managed to overtake a few cars off-line on the outside of turn six. I had to be aggressive and I was, but we still ended up just outside the points. Without the spin, I could definitely have got P6 I think, so it's a missed opportunity."

The US Grand Prix saw Renault out-score championship rival BMW Sauber for the first time this season, cancelling out the three-point advantage the German team had gained in Montreal, but Fisichella was aware that it could have been so much better.

"The results in these two races haven't been good, but the pace of the car has, and that is encouraging as we go back to Europe," he said, trying to look on the positive side, "We are heading in the right direction, and there are two important races for the team coming up now. I am confident we can race with BMW, and start closing the gap in the championship."