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Confident Fisichella motivated ahead of his 200th race at Monaco

Monaco, May 20 (UNI) Confident ahead of his 200th race at the Monaco Grand Prix here, Force India Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella said he is still as motivated as he was when he started his career.

''Monaco will be my 200th race start, and it feels a long way away from my debut that's for sure, but I still feel as good and as confident as I did back then,'' Fisichella said.

''Rubens' (Barichello) record of 257 starts will be hard to beat, but there is definitely a feeling of satisfaction to reach this milestone that only a handful of other drivers have got to,'' he added. ''Even more satisfying is to know that I have a lot more to give and am still motivated to do well.'' There are 18 Grand Prix on this year's F1 World Championship calendar and they all count for the same amount of points, but the Monaco Grand Prix stands above all the others in terms of pure spectacle, glamour and prestige.

Both Force India drivers Fisichella and Adrian Sutil have strong experience of the challenges of the twisty, bumpy 3.34km circuit and have enjoyed good performances there throughout their careers.

Sutil has held the F3 lap record round the Principality, a feat he achieved in 2005 when he was team-mate to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, and was a spectacular fastest during last year's Saturday free practice.

''Monaco is one of my favourite tracks as it's the first real street circuit we go to this year. It's such a special place, with a unique atmosphere, there's a lot going on and the track is just fantastic,'' Sutil said. ''I'm really looking forward to it as, even though we didn't finish last year, it was actually one of my best weekends. It was such a great feeling when I saw my name in P1 on Saturday - no one expected it! For me it was important as that stage in the season as it gave me a lot of good feedback and made people realise we are serious about what we do.'' ''We have a better car this year and I hope we can do well.

It can be tricky if it rains, but I don't mind as we saw last year! It was important for me to finish in Turkey as we could get a lot more mileage and also for my confidence to finish a race,'' he added.

''Now I think we need to stay concentrated and get more finishes, do a good job and get a good result.'' The Monaco Grand Prix will commence on May 25 at Monte Carlo.


Story first published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 17:36 [IST]
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