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OCTOBER 21, 2003

What happened to Fisichella at Monza?

Giancarlo Fisichella's involvement with the works Alfa Romeo touring car team at Monza last weekend was much publicized before the event but there was no word at all about what happened. This is because Fisichella demolished his car in qualifying for the event on Saturday.

Having set the 11th fastest time in the morning session, despite an off at the Parabolica, Fisichella went out keen to do well in the qualifying session but almost immediately had a big crash at the exit of the Ascari chicane, which caused the red flags to be shown so that the mess could be cleared up.

"I had a gearbox problem in the first practice, in which I was supposed to get some experience," said Fisichella. "In the second session I managed to complete three or four good laps, which were enough to set a good lap time. I was sixth at the time, and I knew I could have improved a lot. I came in for new tires, but on my first lap I lost the back of my car at the Parabolica and finished stranded in the gravel.

"I went out for qualifying with only a few laps in the practice, and again, on new tires, I lost the car at the Ascari. I oversteered, but the car spun and hit the barrier."

Alfa Romeo decided that there was not enough time to repair the car as Nicola Larini, one of the title challengers, had also crashed and his car took priority.