Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone recently went on record to suggest in light of the planned Force India test with Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella, that the pair of aging drivers should consider their futures carefully. The general gist of Bernie’s comments lead one to believe that the 77-year-old feels both drivers have not performed well in competitive cars and should perhaps either wake up quickly, or retire.
This is what Ecclestone had to say at the time:
Both were at decent teams for some time when they should have been doing better jobs. They should think about whether it is intelligent to change to small teams. Look at Renault. If in 2005 and 2006 they would have had only Fisichella in the team, they would not have known that they had a car good enough to win the championship. Bernie Ecclestone.
And today, Fisichella has posted a rebuttal via his website. A message appears on the front page in both English and Italian:
I read with interest your interview in Auto Moto und Sport, faithfully published by your own web site. You are the father of Formula One and like a father you have talked about your children, including me. I wanted to remind you dear daddy, I mean dear Bernie, that I am the one who won the first Grand Prix in Melbourne in 2005 with Renault and therefore I was the one who first discovered the R25 as a winning car. In the two seasons I spent alongside Alonso, in full agreement with the strategies of my Team, I have contributed to two constructor titles, taking home the fourth place in the drivers’ championship, just like Massa this year. Given the circumstances I believe I could not do any better. In 2007 Renault promised me a championship winning car, but this has not been the case and for this I did not get demoralized! Next week, in fact, I will bring my enthusiasm and my experience to Force India, a young team with an “old heart” just like Giancarlo Fisichella who has still some talent to show! Giancarlo Fisichella.
Pitpass are reporting that this doesn’t sound like the calm Roman driver and believe this is not how he would normally confront any attack on his performance, verbal or otherwise. I would have to agree, and the tone of the text does sound closer to his manager, Enrico Zanarini. A light-hearted poke back at daddy-Ecclestone, but just like Pitpass, I have to ask if this is likely to cause a few feathers to be rustled not in Fisi’s favour.