Earning a second chance
First GP: Australia 1996
2004 position: 11th
Previous teams: Minardi, Jordan, Benetton
Giancarlo Fisichella is one of Formula One's biggest talents, and it is gratifying that he has finally been recognised as such by the teams.
After three years struggling with teams not worthy of his ability, Fisichella was chased by both Williams and Renault this summer.
They were attracted by a series of deeply impressive drives by Fisichella in the unfancied Sauber.
The Italian chose Renault and is looking forward to racing at the front.
Fisichella had always hoped that a move to Sauber would regenerate his career, but it has not happened in the way he expected.
He thought that the team's relationship with Ferrari might lead to a chance there, but is more than happy that when the break came it was somewhere else.
Fisichella switched to Sauber after two dispiriting years at Jordan, the only positive aspect of which was a well-deserved if lucky first victory.
That came in Brazil last year, in the rain in which he always shines.
Speed in the wet is always a sign of a truly quality driver, for it requires a delicacy of touch and smoothness of style that is rare even at the highest level, as well as the bravery to drive on the limit in extremely limited visibility.
At Sauber, he has continued to prove his talent, leaving his quick team-mate Felipe Massa firmly in the shade.
Fisichella will find a tough team-mate in Fernando Alonso in 2005, but the Spaniard will likewise find Fisichella is a serious test for his credentials as a future world champion.