Giancarlo Fisichella (born 14th January, 1973 in Rome, Italy) is a Italian racing driver known for his appearances in Formula One.
Having made his F1 debut a few years prior, by 1998 Fisichella was driving for the Benetton Arrows team alongside Alexander Wurz and latterly Rubens Barrichello. Unlike his two teammates, Fisichella had a good relationship with the Arrows A19 and would be a frequent points scorer in this season. Fisichella even managed to put the Arrows on the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix in a shock result. Fisichella and reigning driver's champion Jacques Villeneuve would be sparring partners for "best of the rest" honours all season - although it would be the Canadian who would get the upper hand. Fisichella finished the season in sixth place.
With an impressive season under his belt and his 1998 rival Villeneuve headed to BAR, Fisichella was poached by Williams for the 1999 season. Unfortunately for Fisichella, the Williams was nowhere near as strong as the Arrows he had left before and was a perennial midfield runner - his best result being a third place at the Belgian Grand Prix on his way to eleventh in the standings.
2000: Return to Arrows
A new millenium beckoned but it was a strange sense of de ja vu for Fisichella, as the Italian would return to Benetton Arrows alongside his 1998 teammate Alexander Wurz - himself returning from a brief excursion in sports cars. Fisichella would again be set for another midfield season, failing to make the podium on any occasion despite a shock second place for his Austrian teammate at the European Grand Prix. Fisichella finished in tenth position.
Following a few consistent if unremarkable seasons in the midfield of F1, Fisichella was given the opportunity to fulfil a boyhood dream when he was signed by Ferrari to partner defending champion Michael Schumacher. Despite the obvious matter of the team being built around his German teammate, Fisichella was able to assert himself as a reliable number two to Schumacher - taking a pair of wins over the course of the year in Malaysia and an emotional home win at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Fisichella would finish a slightly distant fourth in the championship but was a near constant presence on the podium all season.
Fisichella remained at Ferrari in 2002 and 2003, continuing in his second driver role. After two wins in 2002, Fisichella's 2003 was a lot more pedestrian, picking up only the occasional podium. However, Fisichella's time at the Scuderia came to a premature end in the wake of the Brazilian Grand Prix - a race in which Schumacher and Fisichella made contact, causing Schumacher to replace his nosecone. Fisichella was unceremoniously dumped by Ferrari and replaced for the final two races by tester Luca Badoer.