JUNE 14, 2006
Why would Fisichella know his 2007 team mate?
There are times when Internet sites get a little desperate for news and start creating stories that fill an empty space. One such story is the suggestion that Giancarlo Fisichella knows that his team mate next year will be Finnish. If true, this is impressive because Fisichella is not even sure which team will be employing him in 2007. Renault might choose to continue with him but this year he has not been a match for Fernando Alonso. Having said that a good solid number two might be a better choice for Renault than a new boy. The problem with that idea is that Renault is believed to have signed a race deal for 2007 with Heikki Kovalainen last autumn. At that time there was no hint that Fernando Alonso might leave and join McLaren so replacing Fisichella with a young charger seemed like a good idea. With Alonso departing, however, there is a bit of a problem if Kimi Raikkonen goes to Renault instead of Ferrari. Would Renault really want two Finns in the team? Teams like to say that decisions are never made for marketing reasons and are solely based on the performance of the drivers. That may be a general rule but it is rare indeed for a big manufacturer to sign two men from a very small nation. So perhaps Renault is now trying to back-pedal on its deal with Kovalainen and Fisichella believes he still has a chance. It is hard to imagine that Renault would go into the new season with Fisichella and Kovalainen but a combination of Raikkonen-Fisichella is not such a stupid idea. Unless, of course, you happen to be Heikki Kovalainen. Breaking a deal might not be the smartest thing for Renault to do because Kovalainen might then decided to walk away and join another team - which would screw things up in the long term. Fisichella is hardly to be considered a long-term bet for Renault and so, if logic has anything to do with it, Renault would have two Finns if Raikkonen is shipped over to Renault from Ferrari.
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