Fisichella to star in S5000's Melbourne opener

Formula 1 race winner Giancarlo Fisichella has joined the field for the opening round of the 2020 S5000 season at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Fisichella will drive the same S5000 chassis that TCR Australia champion Will Brown raced with in the series’ two exhibition rounds at Sandown and The Bend last year.

The Melbourne outing will mark a return to single-seaters for the 47-year-old who made 229 grand prix starts for Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India and Ferrari between 1996 and 2009.

During that period, the Italian driver won three F1 races, including the Australian Grand Prix in 2005 at the wheel of a Renault RS25.

Since the end of his grand prix career, Fisichella has mostly been contesting GT races for Ferrari, with the highlight being two wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the GTE Pro class.

Fisichella’s last professional outing at the Albert Park Circuit came just two years ago in 2018, when he took part in the F1-supporting Australian GT championship in a Ferrari 458 GT3.

“I am very excited about coming back to a city and a street circuit which mean so much to me,” said Fisichella. 

“My Grand Prix win will stay in my heart forever as well as the warmth of the many Australian fans who come every year to Melbourne for a great motor sport spectacle.

“It is also a full comeback to an open wheeler for me, after 10 solid years of GT racing and for this I can’t wait until I am going to be behind the wheel of an S5000.”

Matt Braid, CEO of S5000’s promoter Australian Racing Group, added: “We are excited to welcome Giancarlo to Australia and this is another great coup for the S5000 class at the Australian Grand Prix.

“Giancarlo is loved by all Formula 1 fans for not only his success on the track, but his passion for the sport. While he might have stopped racing Formula 1, he is still very active, and we feel that he is going to adapt very quickly to the S5000s.

“It will be great to rekindle an an old F1 rivalry too, seeing Giancarlo and Rubens Barrichello back at a Formula 1 event, in single seater racecars. It is everything that the public wants to see and we are pleased to bring this to the Melbourne fans.”

Barrichello is returning to the series after making his debut in Sandown last year.


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