One year ago, Adelaide came to life with the return of Supercars, and Formula 1 winner Giancarlo Fisichella stole the show in the S5000 race. The Italian driver, at 49 years old, showcased his skills against much younger competitors on a track he had never driven before. This marked Fisichella’s first full round in the S5000 series, as his debut was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic at the 2020 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
During the event, Fisichella made a guest appearance for VAILO backed Team BRM. Despite qualifying fifth, almost a second behind pole man Aaron Cameron, Fisichella quickly moved up to fourth place in the opening race. Although he had a DNF (did not finish) in the second race due to a collision with the turn 8 wall, Fisichella fought his way back to sixth place in the final race, leaving a lasting impression.
In an interview with AUTO ACTION, Fisichella expressed his excitement about racing in the S5000 series in Adelaide. He praised the fantastic atmosphere and the support from the crowd, mentioning that it reminded him of a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend. He particularly enjoyed the challenging track, which was used for Formula 1 races from 1985 to 1995. Fisichella mentioned that the Senna Chicane, especially turn 1, was a standout corner for him.
Despite his extensive Formula 1 experience, Fisichella admitted that transitioning from GT racing to open-wheelers was not an easy task. He had been exclusively racing GT cars for the past 12 years as a contracted Ferrari driver. Fisichella mentioned that the S5000 car lacked power steering, making it challenging to handle. Additionally, the car had a lot of power and minimal aerodynamics, making it unstable during braking points.
Fisichella’s participation in the S5000 race marked his return to single-seater racing after retiring from Formula 1 in 2009. He had not competed in a full race weekend in an open-wheeler since then. Despite the difficulties, Fisichella thoroughly enjoyed the experience and expressed his desire to drive a Supercar in the future.
In conclusion, Giancarlo Fisichella’s appearance in the Adelaide S5000 race generated excitement and showcased his skills as a seasoned driver. Despite the challenges of transitioning from GT racing to open-wheelers, Fisichella relished the opportunity and left a lasting impression on the fans and competitors.