Fisi vindicated by Renault woes

Italian veteran says Force India move was the right one

Giancarlo Fisichella has said that Renault's disappointing performances this season have effectively cleared him of any blame for their failure to retain the title last year.

After winning back-to-back world titles with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006, Renault's form slumped last season. The Anglo/French team failed to score a single victory and only once finished on the podium.

The results were partly blamed on the R27's disappointing lack of pace and partly on the fact that Alonso had left for McLaren, leaving Fisichella to fill the role of lead driver.

The Italian came in a lot of criticism throughout the year and was eventually declared surplus to Renault's requirements, with his bosses refusing him a contract extension.

Fisichella subsequently made his way to Force India while Renault re-signed Alonso after he parted ways with McLaren. But even with their World Champion back in the fold the results are still not forthcoming.


In fact, Renault's form has slumped even further with Alonso declaring that the R28 is only the eighth fastest car on the grid, the Spaniard being outpaced by Fisichella's VJM01 for a time in last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

It was a moment of vindication for the Roman, who reckons it not only absolves him of any blame for Renault's 2007 season but also proves that his decision to sign with Force India was the right one.

"I am very happy to be fighting with them as it shows that Force India's project is a very promising one and that I made a good decision to join the team," he told the official F1 website.

"Especially because everyone thought that Fernando was going to save the team and Renault spent a lot of time and money to give him a good car.

"In fact, in the first three races of 2007 I performed better with them than he has done so far this year."

Fisichella is now gearing up for his team's three-day test at Barcelona next week, where Force India will introduce a new aerodynamics package that he is hoping will allow him to progress into Q2 on Saturday afternoons.

"It's just a planned aero package (for the Barcelona test)," he said. "Other major improvements will come for Monaco, and shortly after we will have a new front suspension. The seamless gearbox will arrive only in Budapest."