Giancarlo Fisichella was confirmed Thursday as the second driver for Ferrari on the heels of his brilliant second place finish at Spa. The Italian will now fulfill a lifelong dream and compete at Monza in the red outfit in front of the tifosi on race day.
Fisi was thankful to his Force India team for releasing him to the Italian squad in what many people thought was the only logical choice. Fisi was battling Robert Kubica for the second seat and will now replace Luca Badoer. Badoer was the stand in for Felipe Massa after seven times champion Michael Schumacher was unable to make his Formula 1 comeback. It is unsure how long Giancarlo will stay with Ferrari, but he will be with the team at least until the end of the season. This will surly spark silly season rumors yet again.
Force India have been in debt to Ferrari ~ 4 million dollars due to the early termination of their customer engine contract they had with Ferrari last year. While many speculate that the release of the Roman was to settle that debt, Dr. Vijay Mallya has stated that no financial settlement has been reached for Fisi’s services at this time. Calling it a “measure of good faith” and a “positive story for F1”. While Force India has not announced the replacement driver for Fisi, it is believed that Vitantonio Liuzzi will be brought up from his testing role to fill in as second driver to current driver Adrian Sutil.
Fisi will add exactly what Ferrari are looking for. A solid driver who has plenty of experience in the car and can add data for the 2010 car. Ferrari is out of the championship hunt but remains in a close battle with McLaren for the third spot. Along with the valuable testing input for the team, Fisi will add solid points paying races that can help Ferrari achieve the third position. Ferrari clearly have to be the favorites for Monza given their amazing pace at the high speed Spa circuit this past weekend. The high top speed and KERS package on the red car should make it a genuine threat for next Sunday.