Having tested no fewer than seven drivers for 2008, Force India seems to have made its choice - for one of its seats at least.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Ralf Schumacher, Christian Klien, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Franck Montagny, Roldan Rodriguez and Giedo van der Garde have all got behind the wheel of one of the Silverstone-based outfit's Ferrari-powered machines in winter testing in recent weeks, but it seems it is the former that has most impressed team members.

"I think I still deserve a place in Formula 1," the 34-year-old veteran of twelve seasons in the top flight told Italian magazine Autosprint. "My goal is to race with Force India - I do not see Force India as a fallback, but a new phase of my career."

Fisichella has effectively driven for Force India twice before - in its former guise as Jordan Grand Prix - in 1997 and from 2002 to 2003. The Roman admitted he had been disappointed not to have been retained by Renault for a fourth consecutive campaign, having helped the R?gie to both of its constructors' world championship titles alongside Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006. He also added he would not be averse to considering a test-driving role with a leading team next year, should the option he has signed with Force India not come to fruition.

"I would have expected more consideration by Renault," he acknowledged. "In three years I have helped the team to victories.

"I know Force India seems difficult when you consider fighting for the last places, but I believe in the potential of this team. They told me they would prefer to have an experienced driver next to [Adrian] Sutil, and I am ready.

"I have signed an option with them and will have an answer before Christmas."

 

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