Ralf Schumacher slated as former team-mate reveals garage tension

Henry Valantine
Ralf Schumacher enters the paddock on 2022 Monaco Grand Prix race day.

Ralf Schumacher enters the paddock.

Giancarlo Fisichella has been less than complimentary about former Jordan team-mate Ralf Schumacher, dubbing him “fighettino” – an Italian term that loosely translates to a “poser” or a “show-off”.

The two drivers endured a tricky relationship during their time together at Jordan, with both looking to make an impression in Formula 1 at the time.

Fisichella opened up about how much better his relationship was with Ralf’s brother Michael by comparison, not holding back in saying that he was a “person and driver of a very different calibre”.

Giancarlo Fisichella discusses Ralf Schumacher relationship

The former Renault and Ferrari driver was asked about his storied career in Formula 1, and with 229 race starts under his belt at the top level, the three-time Grand Prix winner was asked about any drivers he had a tough time getting along with.

With team-mates naturally competing alongside each other in the same car, there have been many tales of team-mates not getting along – and his rapport with Schumacher at Jordan was what he recalled as being among the worst of them.

“There was not a good relationship with Ralf Schumacher in 1997 at Jordan,” Fisichella told Corriere della Sera in Italy.

“He was ‘fighettino’, he felt superior even though I beat him. In Argentina I was second and he was third.

“He touched me and after the GP he made a stupid joke: ‘OK, I’ll buy him a pizza’. From then on it was all uphill with him.”

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But in contrast to the other Schumacher on the grid, Fisichella said he got on famously well with Michael in his time in the sport, which stretched beyond the track.

“A person, as well as a driver, of a very different calibre,” Fisichella said of the seven-time World Champion.

“I had a very good relationship with Schumi: we have a passion for football and at least two to three matches of the National Team drivers’ team were always played.

“We shared tracks, football, dinners, karaoke: it’s a pity he ended up as we know, fate is sometimes cruel and I also think of what happened to Alessandro Zanardi.”

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