Today we celebrate Giancarlo Fisichella’s 39th birthday. A karting prodigy, Giancarlo’s lengthy F1 career never managed to deliver on the promise of his youth…
Narrowly a runner-up in the Karting World Championship in 1991, he jumped into Italian Formula 3 the next year and was instantly impressive, often in spite of the less-than-competitive team he drove for.
He switched to the frontrunning RC Motorsport team in 1994, winning half of the year’s twenty races and waltzing his way to the championship crown, along with winning that year’s Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix.
Minardi wasted little time in snapping him us as the team’s test driver for the 1995 season, while ‘Fisi’ made his tin-top debut with Alfa Romeo in the ITC.
He made his Grand Prix debut the following year with the little team, and despite the limitations of the car, he impressed enough to be sold to the Jordan team for the 1997 season.
Subsequent years have seen him drive for the likes of Benetton (1998-2001), Jordan (again, 2002-3), Sauber (2004), Renault (2005-8) and Force India (2009-10), before the curtain came down on his F1 career with a few uninspiring outings at the wheel of the evil-handling Ferrari F10 at the end of 2010.
As was all-too-often the case, it was difficult to know which Giancarlo Fisichello would turn up on a race weekend. At times, he was capable of the most excellent of performances, but he was equally anonymous on other weekends, which was so typical of the ‘confidence’ driver that he is.
Today he still works as a Ferrari ambassador, dovetailing his role with the F1 team with one behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 in the GT class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Series.