Giancarlo Fisichella has admitted that he is excited to be working with Force India as the team attempts to haul itself away from the tail of the Formula One field, and is confident that the team will improve over the next couple of years.

The Italian has returned to the site of his second F1 contract, with Jordan in 1997, following Vijay Mallya's takeover of the ailing Spyker operation, and is already impressed with what he sees taking place at Force India.

"It's a fantastic project, and they have nearly double the budget of last year," he told the team's official website, " There is Mike Gascoyne, there is Mark Smith, people with a lot of experience who are very focused on this job, so I believe in this project.

"I think it's going to be difficult at the beginning of the season, and maybe, again, we're going to be in the last couple of rows, but we can make a big step forward from now until the end of the season, and especially for 2009. So far, we've done a few tests and we've already made a step. The car balance was better and the set-up much better. The car has good potential. It's very promising."

As well as feeling comfortable in the team, having been reunited with some of his old Jordan crew, Fisichella is also excited at the chance to direct the way the team moves forward.

"Yes, for sure, they believe in me, they listen to what I have to say," he said, "They are really happy to work with me, and we are going in the right direction. The pressure is much less, for sure, than at somewhere like Renault. But, at Renault, you are just a driver, while here I also feel part of the staff."

Although Bernie Ecclestone suggested that Fisichella move off to pastures new outside F1 when he was released by Renault last year, the Italian insists that he is not done with the top flight and, having been encouraged by the Force India project, expects to help the team take bigger strides next season.

"At the moment, [my deal is] two years, and then we'll see, but I'm really focused now on this season," he said, "My motivation is to do well in the second part of the season, and to grow up with the team.

"But the wind tunnel is running 24 hours a day and [the team is] already looking at 2009. They are already working in the wind tunnel on the 2009 car, and it will be very interesting with the new rules, especially as they reduce the grip, the downforce of the car, quite a lot. I think we can do well."



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