Fisichella returns to complete S5000 mission in Adelaide
FORMULA ONE winner Giancarlo Fisichella will compete at the VALO Adelaide 500 as he returns to ‘finish a job’ he started two years ago in S5000.
The Italian will compete for Team BRM in the S5000 Tasman Series races at this year’s event on December 1-4, adding a Formula 1 flair to a circuit famed for bringing Grand Prix racing to Australia in the 1980s.
Born in Rome in 1973 Fisichella, 49, entered 231 Formula 1 Grands Prix across a successful F1 career that spanned 14 seasons.
“I am thrilled to be coming back to Australia to race S5000 – at last. After the unfortunate cancellation of the races at the 2020 Australian Grand Prix, it’s like we have ‘unfinished business’ to take care of,” he said.
“My Formula 1 career started literally a few weeks after the last F1 race in Adelaide, so I have never driven on the circuit, which is a slightly shorter version of the GP track, and so am looking forward to it enormously. I expect the S5000 car will be fast there.
“I’m also thrilled to be driving with Team BRM, which has a great record in racing in Australia – and who ran my friend Rubens (Barrichello) when he drove S5000 at there very first event, in 2019, and then at the ’no race’ Grand Prix in 2020.”
Making his debut in Melbourne (in the very next Grand Prix following Adelaide’s 1995 Grand Finale’) in 1996, Fisichella drove for Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India and Ferrari across his lengthy career.
The Italian won three Grands Prix, including the 2005 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne when driving for Renault, and scored 19 podium finishes in total.
His first win had come for Jordan in the dramatic 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, while he also won the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix for Renault in what was his most successful season of F1 – finishing fourth in the World Championship that year behind only Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa.
Following his retirement from Formula 1 competition at the conclusion of the 2009 season, Fisichella moved to GT and Sports Car racing with great success, including winning the GTE class at the Le Mans 24 Hours on two occasions.
He continues to race competitively, competing in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship driving a Ferrari for the Iron Lynx team.
Adelaide will not be Fisichella’s first time behind the wheel of an S5000 racer – he was entered for the opening round of the 2020 championship at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Driving for Team BRM, the Italian had qualified ninth on the Thursday however was unable to race following the cancellation of the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fisichella will race for Adelaide-based Team BRM, who are among Australia’s most successful open-wheel racing teams.
The team clinched their seventh Motorsport Australia Gold Star award earlier this year, winning the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship with Joey Mawson.
It equalled the record seven titles claimed by a former Adelaide-based powerhouse, Birrana Racing.
BRM will field teammates Joey Mawson and Adelaide-based Mark Rosser alongside Fisichella’s entry at the VALO Adelaide 500.