Ferrari debutant Giancarlo Fisichella qualified 14th for the Italian Grand Prix and believes that the crash he suffered in the morning practice was largely to blame for him not making it through to the pole position shootout.
In a tight field, Fisi was 0.475s slower than team mate Kimi Raikkonen, and with such a tightly bunched and competitive field, that was enough to put him out of contention.
Fisichella looked tentative on the brakes, in particular. He said that he has more or less learned when and how to deploy KERS, but looking at him driving the car, it seems more edgy in its handling than the Force India he stepped out of after Spa and the braking above all was the thing responsible for pitching him off track in the morning.
“It (the crash) affected it a lot. After many years I know how important is P3. Especially as I needed to have the most laps possible to have a good feeling with the car. It was quite frustration. I was really sad, disappointed with the qualifying session, I was not comfortable. But I think 14th is not bad considering everything.”
Asked how he felt about starting behind the two Force India cars, one of whom landed on the front row again he said, “I’m happy for them. I’m happy even because I did a fantastic job there and now this is the result. I did a pole position. But the chance to be a Ferrari driver is the dream of my life. Even if they win the next five races, I would still do the same decision. I want to be a Ferrari driverd for the rest of the season. I’m happy with my choice.”
Fisichella said before the weekend that he would be very emotional before going out for the first laps in practice at Monza, but that he expected the emotion to pass quickly. He admitted today that he was nervous as he went out,
“It felt already emotional after the announcement. It’s a fantastic feeling, all week I have been very busy. Here I can see all the red flags around the circuit. It’s a lot of pressure, yesterday morning I was nervous before I got into the car, but it’s normal here. We are in Ferrari in Monza, so I’m happy to be here.”
To qualify 14th in a fast car you normally have some options with the strategy, as Rosberg did in Germany where he finished 4th from 15th on the grid. But with many teams in the top ten, like Brawn and Red Bull having opted to go for a one stop strategy, there is a limit to how far Fisi will go unless it rains.
He was hired to score points and with both McLarens looking like getting some solid points out of this race, the pressure is on.