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Fisichella rules out podiums in 2007

NEWS STORY
09/05/2007

Having been elevated to the role of team leader with the reigning (double) World Champions, Giancarlo Fisichella might have been excused for claiming that this would be his year, and that the extension to the trophy cabinet for the 'ultimate prize' was a good investment.

However, after just three rounds of the season, the Roman has not only given up any hope of title aspirations, he has even ruled out the possibility of a podium finish.

"This Renault was born bad," said the 34-year-old, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. "Of course you can never rule anything out in F1, even winning with this car. But I don't think I'll be back on the podium in 2007," he added.

In the opening rounds of the 2007 season, the little Italian's best qualifying performance has seen him take sixth on the grid, while his best race result was a distant fifth in Melbourne, almost 30s behind fourth placed Nick Heidfeld in the BMW.

"I don't see any chance of winning a race," said Fisichella, who many believe could be facing his last season in F1. "The aerodynamics are wrong. It's better to start straight away on the 2008 car than wasting time fixing a car born bad.

"Nobody expected a start to the season like this," he admitted. "We even thought about bringing back the championship winning 2006 car but with these tyres we wouldn't have achieved anything," referring, like many before him, including team boss Flavio Briatore, that it has been the switch from Michelin rubber to Bridgestone that has really hurt the reigning champions.

"Renault have got something wrong, our fault," he continued. "The first part of the season is compromised. Without traction the car is inconsistent over a lap, up to three weeks ago we did not know what to do. Now at least we have ideas. It's the wings that are not working."

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