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
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