However, with the latest changes in terms of team management and power train supplier – Force India's partnership with Mercedes have brought them a more competitive engine, new gearbox and hydraulic system and, more importantly, an already-developed Kinetic Energy Recovery System – Fisico hopes his luck will change in 2009.
In case that doesn't happen, he is quite aware that his days in Formula 1 are numbered. With plenty of talented young drivers knocking at the F1 door, his chances of extending his deal with F1 are quite slim. Team owner Vijay Mallya is currently battling with both pressure from his compatriots to hire an Indian driver for 2010 and McLaren's interests of seeing one of their young drivers from other racing series make an F1 debut via Force India.
“This is a very important season for me. Should I have a season like last year, then that would make it difficult to extend my career. Instead, should I find myself with a car that allows me to consistently run among the mid pack, to get in the points and to throw some surprises, then I could think about doing one or two more years in Formula One,” reckoned Fisichella in an interview for Autosprint magazine.
The appointment of former McLaren's Simon Roberts as new CEO of the team is regarded as a key role to Force India's development throughout 2009. Also, Mallya made it very clear – at the launch of FI's VJM02 at Jerez – that he expects consistent points from mid-season on.
“At the start I was a bit worried, you know. By contrast, as soon as I met him, he immediately made me very calm. He's the kind of guy that comes to you, talks to you, stays in the garage, looks at the car. You can see he's passionate about it,” said Fisichella on Roberts.