60 seconds with Giancarlo Fisichella

Giancarlo Fisichella, also nicknamed Fisico, was born in Rome, Italy on 14th January 1973 and developed a passion for motorsport very early: he was only 8 years old when he started training with karts on the Guidonia circuit.

Fans’ most familiar memories of Fisico is of his championship winning seasons in Formula 1 with the Renault F1 team as he partnered current Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso in 2006.

We sat down with him to learn more about his life & career.

What was your earliest memory in motorsport?

“It was a long time ago, and every time I entered a new team was special, but my fondest memory was when I jumped into a Formula 1 car for the first time in 1994 with Ferrari. It was a very special moment.”

Do you remember your first race? Can you tell us what you were feeling?

“When I was 8 years old in Karting, everything was new for me. It was my first race, I won and it was a great moment for me. An amazing experience filled with a lot of excitement.”

Who was your childhood hero? What did you learn from them?

“My childhood hero was Niki Lauda, my father was a big fan of his and then Ayrton Senna, he was my point of reference to be as good as he was.”

When has been your happiest moment in racing?

“I have many happy memories, when I signed my first deal for Formula 1, when I won my three races in Formula 1, when I won Le Mans. It’s all been different experiences.”

What was your most memorable race win?

“Australia 2005, I started on pole and then on race day I lead from the first to the last lap. I also had another perfect race weekend in Malaysia in 2006.”

What has been your biggest challenge in your motorsport career?

“There is always a challenge; everywhere I have raced there has been a challenge, it’s so important to be on the limits to be at your best in each race.”

Do you have any pre-race rituals?

“Yes, I have some. I jump into the car from the left side; I put on my right race glove on first and then my left earplug. It’s mainly because I used to do it, and if I was to change this I would feel strange. Oh, I also put on my right race boot first, too.”

Who was/is your best teammate?

“Well… [James Calado walks past and says, “Thank-you Giancarlo, I know you were going to say me”] Okay… James Calado. In Formula 1, I would say Fernando Alonso; he’s a great driver. We were the dream-team and won the drivers championship twice.”

If you were not a racing driver, what would you want to be?

“Oh, a professional football player for Rome and be the striker, I play forward. Actually, it’s my favourite hobby and I really enjoy playing with friends. I also played some charity games with the driver’s national team from 1994 we have raised millions of Euros for charity. I’m really proud of this.”

What car do you love driving on-track the most?

“It is definitely the F1 Renault 2005 and 2006. It was fantastic car, the sound was incredible with 20,000 revs.”

What’s your perfect off-track car?

“Well, my dream car it has to be “La Ferrari”, but where I live in Rome I would need a helicopter! I enjoy driving Alfa Romeos and actually, I own a Fiat 500.”

It was a long time ago, and every time I entered a new team was special, but my fondest memory was when I jumped into a Formula 1 car for the first time in 1994 with Ferrari. It was a very special moment. Giancarlo Fisichella