Fisichella makes Ferrari switch - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Fisichella makes Ferrari switch

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Giancarlo Fisichella will drive for Ferrari for the rest of the 2009 Formula 1 season after being released from his contract with Force India.


The Italian, 36, is set to replace Luca Badoer as stand-in for the injured Felipe Massa for the final five races.

"It has always been an ambition," said Fisichella, who will make his Ferrari debut at the Italian Grand Prix.

Force India are yet to name a replacement for Fisichella with test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi the favourite.

Team principal Mallya had insisted on Tuesday that he would turn out his regular team for the Italian GP at Monza on 13 September.

But after extensive discussions with Ferrari, Mallya has agreed to release Fisichella from his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season.

"For any Italian driver, a Ferrari race seat is a long-held dream and for Giancarlo it was no exception," Mallya said. "No-one should stand in the way of this.

"The agreement will secure Fisichella's long-term future with Ferrari and it would be incorrect to jeopardise this.

"We would like to stress that we have not agreed any financial settlement with Ferrari and would like to thank Giancarlo for all his help over the past one-and-a-half seasons and for our first world championship points."

Fisichella's parting gift to Force India was second place at the Belgium Grand Prix, handing the team their first podium and points in their second season in F1.

Even before his impressive performance at Spa-Francorchamps, the 36-year-old had been tipped to replace Badoer, who has struggled since his promotion from Ferrari reserve driver.

Badoer was drafted in to replace Massa, who suffered serious head injuries at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after legendary seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher was forced to shelve his comeback plans.

While Massa is targeting a return in 2010, the Italian team are believed to have run out of patience with Badoer, who qualified last at both the European and Belgian GPs.

While Kimi Raikkonen claimed Ferrari's first win of 2009 in Spa, his team-mate trailed in last, nearly 48 seconds slower than the driver in front.
Fisichella, a veteran of more than 200 grands prix, will be expected to be much more competitive as Ferrari prepare to race in front of their enthusiastic home fans in Monza.

"I am grateful to Vijay Mallya for allowing me this opportunity," said Fisichella, a three-time race winner.

"For Vijay to have allowed it to become a reality is very generous and I hope in my turn I have helped Force India grow up and be on the right path to achieve their own ambitions."




Story from BBC SPORT:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/spo...ne/8231165.stm

Published: 2009/09/03 14:03:55 GMT

BBC MMIX
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 09:02 AM
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Well, That is great news for him. Hope it turns out well. Force India was very generous, but, they do run Ferrari engines, so, thinking they will get something in return.

Badoer was quite a surprise in a bad way: couldn't believe him giving position in the pits that race, but, thinking Ferrari gave him marching orders like, "Don't mess up"...so he gave way. He'll always be only a test driver, but good ones, are worth a lot in the correct spot.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 09:10 AM
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Well, That is great news for him. Hope it turns out well. Force India was very generous, but, they do run Ferrari engines, so, thinking they will get something in return.
They did use Ferrari engines last year, but they switched to Mercedes Benz engines at the start of this season. I'm sure they will still get something in return for the favor

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
They did use Ferrari engines last year, but they switched to Mercedes Benz engines at the start of this season. I'm sure they will still get something in return for the favor
Some rumours floating around that Force India still owe money to Ferrari for the engine deal last year. The Fisi move, whilst Vijay is saying did not involve a financial transaction, may have involved a certain debt being written off.....
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 12:54 PM
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There's probably a lot of truth in that, Vijay wouldn't have just let his best driver walk out for nothing, especially seeing as he had something Ferrari wanted. He must have been in a fairly good bargaining position.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
There's probably a lot of truth in that, Vijay wouldn't have just let his best driver walk out for nothing, especially seeing as he had something Ferrari wanted. He must have been in a fairly good bargaining position.
I'd say so. I don't get the impression that Vijay would be a pushover for anyone. I'm sure some kind of deal was done. In any case will be nice to see Fisi in the car on Sunday. Let's hope he makes a better job of it than Luca....
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 01:05 PM
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In any case will be nice to see Fisi in the car on Sunday. Let's hope he makes a better job of it than Luca....
I don't think there's any chance he will be worse than Luca

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 01:07 PM
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I agree, I coulda' hussled the 360 round faster than Luca. Well to the first corner anyway...
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry O'Brien View Post
I agree, I coulda' hussled the 360 round faster than Luca. Well to the first corner anyway...

I'm faster to the restroom if he drove

he's still honored to be in a true F1 race and in a Ferrari bucket replacing Massa, with Kimi in the mix and Shumi on the side: Great for g'kids to talk about.....around the fire,

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-06-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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i am very happy to see an Italian in the car now, and in front of his home crowd with Ferrari will so nice, hopefully it doesn't rain haha.....i remember watching Fisichella back when he was with renault and during the spa race he proves that he is very smooth, he might have not been as fast as alonso back then but i think after what kind of a run he gave Kimi in spa he has proved himself

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