Fisichella Seeking a car to suit his style

To the outside world, Giancarlo Fisichella's season might seem something of a paradox.

Driving a world championship winning car, he finished fifth in the championship; driving for a team with an exceptional reliability record, he endured nearly all of the mechanical failures.

He had been known as one of Formula One's most under-rated drivers at the start of the year; by the end of the season the limits of his talent had been found… or so the story went.

Within the team, the reality was somewhat different: at Enstone and Viry, the personnel recognized an integral member of a world championship winning team; a true team player ready to put the team's priorities ahead of his own; and a driver with genuine resolve and mental strength.

Fisichella has called 2005 'the best season of my career', something the stats bear out as he took his best championship finish, and came very close to third position in the drivers' championship.

This week, the Italian showed that he is approaching 2006 with his ambitions undiminished.

"I think I am a better driver now than I was a year ago," Fisichella stated. "I am in a team that is 100 percent behind me, and we support each other in difficult moments. With this year's car, some elements of it were not adapted perfectly to my driving style. But I have worked with the engineers to change some of my characteristics, and they also know how we need to work to adjust next year's car to better suit me."

So the rivalry with his world champion team-mate is alive and strong? "Fernando and I are very similar. We work together, we help each other, we laugh and joke. There is a good relationship, we are friends," said the Italian. "But I know that in some races this year, I beat Fernando. Next year, we start again from zero, and I think that with an even better environment in the team, I can do it more often." Press Release Renault

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