Giancarlo Fisichella (born January 14, 1973 in Rome) is an Italian Formula One racing driver. Currently in the employ of the Renault team, the journeyman driver has also driven for Sauber, Jordan, Benetton and Minardi.
Like most current Formula One drivers, Fisichella began kart racing as a youngster. In 1992, he competed in the Italian Formula Three series, racing for the RC Motorsport team. He finished runner up in 1993, and in 1994 he won the championship, behind race victories in Monaco and Macau. He left open-wheel racing for a brief while, driving for Alfa Romeo in the international touring car series. In 1996, he made the move to Formula One, racing for Minardi for half the season before being replaced by Giovanni Lavaggi.
Fisichella made his full F1 assault in 1997 with Jordan, scoring his first podium in Canada. In 1998, he scored his first pole position in Austria running with Benetton. In the next three seasons, however, good results were hard to come by at Benetton; he was not retained when Benetton became Renault. In 2002, he returned to Jordan, and won his first grand prix the next year under exceptional circumstances at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix. In 2004, he drove for Sauber, but managed to score only 22 points, finishing the year in 11th position.
Fisichella joined Renault alongside Fernando Alonso for the 2005 season, winning his second-ever race from pole at the 2005 Australian Grand Prix.
2003 Brazilian Grand Prix scoring controversy
Fisichella's win in Brazil on April 6, 2003 didn't come easy. Battling with McLaren's Kimi Räikkönen amidst heavy rain and numerous crashes, Fisichella took the race lead on lap 53, soon before the race was red-flagged. However, he was demoted to second place on the podium, because (per regulations) Räikkönen was the race leader two laps prior to the red flag. Several days later, though, the FIA determined that Fisichella had already begun his 55th lap before the red flag, meaning that he, and not Räikkönen, had been leading the race two laps before its premature end, awarding the man known as "Fisi" or "Fisico" his first F1 victory. For nearly two years, Fisichella was the only F1 driver to have won a race without having stood atop the podium. (See 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix for more race details).
Complete Formula One results
(Note: grands prix in bold denotes race victories.)