Honda F1 website

JUNE 15, 2006

Fisichella stays at Renault

The Renault F1 team has announced that Giancarlo Fisichella will be staying with the team in 2007, an interesting move in the F1 driver market. This would seem to indicate that the team is not expecting to get another big name driver as it is widely believed that Heikki Kovalainen already has a deal to race for Renault next year. Signing up Fisichella, who has had at best an average couple of seasons when compared to Fernando Alonso, will give the team technical stability but it may lack the edge of an established star such as Fernando Alonso. It may be that the team is hoping for Heikki Kovalainen to grow into that role but given he has no experience of racing in F1 that is a risk.

The other option is that Kovalainen might be shoved backed into a testing role but if that happens the Finn is not going to be happy as he has been waiting for a race drive and is believed to have been promised a deal in 2007. The fact that he has not yet been confirmed suggests that the deal is not done - which is at odds with all the stories in recent months.

It is also worth noting that Flavio Briatore has still to sign his contract with the team and it is not eexpected that he will stay if the team does not look like having a truly competitive package as Briatore will not want to take the fall for failing to produce results.