Fisichella was fighting for position with the Williams of Nakajima at the Senna S when he took a minor excursion off-track across the grass. He rejoined the track directly in front of the Spyker of Yamamoto, who promptly hit the back of Fisichella s car hard.
“It is a very bad result for me as the setup and strategy looked good so I really expected to have a better race,â€ Yamamoto explained. “Unfortunately, at the start of Lap 2, Fisichella went off and just came back onto the circuit he just came back onto the racing line.
“It is a strange situation as normally when you go back on, you avoid going onto the racing line, but he didn t so I couldn t do anything other than crash into him. It is a really bad situation as I wanted to have a good race but it was over so quickly.â€
Renault have had a poor season by their standards, and the last race of the season was no better with both drivers retiring. Fisichella has acknowledged it has been a tough season for the team and has claimed that his crash was just a racing incident.
“This has been a difficult season for the whole team, but I had hoped that the last race would last for a bit longer than two laps,” Fisichella explained. “I got hit in the rear at the start, which damaged the car. Then, on lap 2, I went off fighting with a Williams on the way into Turn 1. The car was very hard to control or slow down on the grass, with very low grip, and that meant that when I came back onto the track, I was involved in a collision with another car.
“It was just a racing incident, and I am sorry that it ended both of our races. It is a shame to leave the final race empty-handed, after a year when we had to fight so hard. But thank you to all the guys: no matter how hard it got, they never stopped working, and they deserved more from the end of the year.”
Heikki Kovalainen ended the season with a smash into the barriers. Kovalainen was knocked on the first lap, forcing the Finnish driver to pit. On lap 35, he span off, hitting the barriers before coming to a stop the team believe that the spin was caused by a failure on the car, potentially caused by the earlier knock.
“We were planning to run a very short first stint, and with the car light on fuel, I made a good start,” Kovalainen revealed. “I went right on the way to turn 1, hoping it would then give me the inside line through the next corner, and was running alongside Ralf Schumacher. I think Fisi got hit because his car suddenly moved over, setting off a chain reaction and Ralf hit my car.
“At first, I thought the front left suspension was broken, but as I drove back to the pits I thought it was maybe just a puncture. That proved to be the case, so we fuelled the car longer and went back out. Unfortunately, the time I had lost put me right in a group of cars lapping me, so I drove with blue flags all the time for the first stint: I was quicker than the guys in front, but because they were a lap ahead, I had to let them all past. Eventually, I got out of the traffic, and was just looking to bring the car home to the finish.
“But then, going through turn 2 I felt a vibration at the left rear, and as I lifted off, the back end snapped and put me in the wall. It’s a real shame to retire like this and not manage to finish all the races, but that’s the way it goes.
“All I want to do now is move on to the next challenge: firstly the New York Marathon in November, and then focusing on next year. If I want to become world champion, which is my aim, I need to be even better prepared mentally and physically than I was this year. I want to start working towards that goal as soon as I possibly can.”
<em>(Picture Source: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfabbri/sets/72157602590051943/” title=”Chris Fabbri Photos”>Chris Fabbri)</a></em>