Ex-Schumacher team-mate claims he was faster than him

Giancarlo Fisichella enjoyed a relatively successful career in F1, with his most famous move having been to Renault in 2005.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella has discussed what it was like to partner Ralf Schumacher at Jordan in 1997, following his rookie season with Minardi.

Fisichella enjoyed a successful career in F1, with his most famous move having been to Renault in 2005.

Fisichella partnered Fernando Alonso at the French manufacturer in 2005 and 2006, the two seasons in which the Spaniard claimed the title.

He went on to finish his F1 career with a brief spell at Ferrari in 2009, after replacing an injured Felipe Massa.

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Whilst he ended his F1 career at Maranello, Fisichella has opened up on what it was like alongside Schumacher at the start of his career at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Both drivers showed potential and guided Jordan to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, with the bulk of the side’s points having come courtesy of Fisichella.

Interestingly, the Italian has since revealed that Michael Schumacher’s brother wasn’t the best of partners, as he was “not happy” to share his data.

Fisichella has since slammed the German for “not working as a team-mate” and for definitely not being the best driver he ever partnered.

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“Ralf was young and competitive”, Fisichella told the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“But it was important to be quicker than your team-mate. During the season, I was quicker than him. I scored more points than him. It was very competitive.

“He’s not been my best team-mate; always watching you strangely, not happy to share the telemetry, he was not working as a team-mate or for the team. It was just important for him to be in front of me, that was the target and that was my target as well.”

Fisichella went on to discuss the 1997 Argentine Grand Prix, where a podium was on the cards for both drivers until Schumacher crashed into the Italian.

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“Argentina was another great race for us”, Fisichella added.

“We could score second and third easily. We were fighting for the position and in the middle of the race, Ralf crashed into my car and I had to retire my car.

“There was a possibility to score easily second and third, but there was a crash and that’s part of the race. I was a little bit angry with Ralf.”