Giancarlo Fisichella confirmed at Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella is probably still grinning like this in his sleep

Giancarlo Fisichella is probably still grinning like this in his sleep

Giancarlo Fisichella will drive for Ferrari in his home Grand Prix at Monza next weekend, the team has confirmed.

He will be the first Italian to drive for Ferrari in his home Grand Prix at Monza since Ivan Capelli in 1992.

Nicola Larini finished second for Ferrari in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in Italy in 1994.

As reported here yesterday, Fisichella’s seat at Force India is expected to be taken by Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Force India boss Vijay Mallya had denied the rumours earlier this week, even when team member Ian Phillips confirmed them to the BBC on Monday.

The last Italian to win the Italian Grand Prix was Ludovico Scarfiotti in 1966, driving for Ferrari. Can Fisichella become the first driver to emulate his feat in 43 years?

First pictures – Fisichella at Ferrari

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139 comments on Giancarlo Fisichella confirmed at Ferrari

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  1. good for Fisi and Ferrari. Go Ferrari

  2. Victor said on 3rd September 2009, 15:56

    Come on Keith, I expected more accuracy. Capelli drove the Ferrari at Monza in ’92. :P

  3. LC Coelho said on 3rd September 2009, 15:57

    I noticed it first on the forum!
    yay!
    hehehe

    high time to putting badoer away, poor guy…

  4. Nirupam said on 3rd September 2009, 16:00

    Thats very good. Fisi really realy deserved it!

  5. Adrian said on 3rd September 2009, 16:03

    Interesting quote from Vijay Mallya:

    Furthermore the agreement will secure Giancarlo’s long-term future with Ferrari and it would be incorrect to jeopardise this

    I wonder what is meant by “long-term future with Ferrari”? I suspect Fisi is to be their new test driver, but I wonder if they’re intending to keep him as their backup in case Massa can’t race next year but they don’t find out until they’ve released Kimi (as expected).

    • LewisC said on 3rd September 2009, 16:06

      I think Fisi had already signed to become Ferrari’s test driver for next year.
      But, as you say, if Massa can’t make a comeback for any reason (or decides he doesn’t want to!) it gives them a good backup plan. Kimi/Alonso, Kimi/Fisi, Alonso/Fisi… all would probably work quite well.

      • Adrian said on 3rd September 2009, 16:14

        I’m not so sure on that one, as a lot of people were talking about whether he’d decline the offer of sub-ing for Ferrari so that he could drive for FI next year…

        From Ferrari’s POV it makes sense to have a test driver who’s actually raced in the current generation of car.

    • I think he will fill in for Massa until he returns, so that could also mean the first races of 2010 if it comes to that.

    • sumedh said on 3rd September 2009, 16:33

      Nice spot, I was wondering the same.

      I think, Fisichella already had a deal with Ferrari for 2010 in place (as a test driver), and it has been brought forward.

      Surely, they cant be thinking of off-loading Kimi for Fisichella.

      So, it seems that the sun on Fisichella’s career has set then. He was never championship material, but a wonderful driver of slow cars, and will end his career with the top team in the sport. He couldn’t have organized his exit any better though. Well done Fisi :-) Enjoy!!

      • ajokay said on 3rd September 2009, 16:54

        Autosport confirm in their article that Fisi is going to be Ferrari’s text/reserve driver from next year.

    • damonsmedley said on 4th September 2009, 5:37

      I think that this is good for Giancarlo, but he is going to be the reserve driver at Ferrari next year, in that case, I can’t see Fisichella racing in a Grand Prix after the end of this season… I think it is a shame really.

    • Achilles said on 4th September 2009, 6:34

      Well Adi, we are all well aware that the media are fed anything but the facts until the deed is done, as in this case. But Massa will only be allowed to race if his neurological state is as good as his physical one. Ferrari are sensibly laying foundations….

  6. Kutigz said on 3rd September 2009, 16:06

    Good for F1…lets go racing fellas!!

  7. That’s sooo bad!
    I’d love to see Force India battling it against the top teams. It brought so much freshness into the last race.
    Now we will see more of the typical mix, because Sutil didn’t and prolly won’t perform as good as Fisi would do in the FI car.

    • James_mc said on 3rd September 2009, 16:12

      I’m not sure, Sutil always looked the more likely to get Force India’s first points until very recently.

      • Alex Cooper said on 3rd September 2009, 17:17

        Yeah but Sutil’s blown several chances to bring in points for Force India.

        Most recently was Germany when instead of playing it safe and bagging Force India their much needed “squillions”, he went wheel to wheel with Kimi instead.

        • DanThorn said on 3rd September 2009, 18:33

          Aye, and Sutil has been in those positions more down to luck and circumstance. In normal race weekends, Fisi has been the more competitive guy. It’s a great way for him to end his career – a couple more podiums or even a win would be fantastic – good luck Fisi!

        • John H said on 3rd September 2009, 18:33

          Always racing before money IMO.

  8. Btw, Keith, when are the prediction game results coming?
    I was hoping that with the new system it’d work faster.
    It’s too exciting now :]

  9. Arun.India said on 3rd September 2009, 16:11

    I love it…..GO Fisi GO!!!Go ferrari Go!!!!

  10. mp4-19b said on 3rd September 2009, 16:13

    Fisi can kiss goodbye to his “racing” career after the remaining few races this year. Bad decision all round. I’m just starting to wonder if the race at spa was “sort of pre-arranged” ?

    • Yea, right, for last 2 years Force India has been pretending to be slow in case one of the Ferrari drivers got hurt and then all of the sudden they go fast for Spa, fast enough to win, but why not let Kimi win…since ONE guy at Force India is leaving the team and going to Ferrari. I’m sure the other couple of hundred people won’t mind.

      LAME. enough with conspiracies, Fisi was about to cry because Kimi passed him once again.

      Also, I think Fisi had already kissed his racing career goodbye, so for him, this is a brilliant end to a respectable F1 career.

    • absolutley agreed. i don’t know how could the Fisi-management bring him into this kind of situation. he is way too competitive to be degraded into a testdriver, but at Force India he was the hero, and he could have earned a contract for 2010 as well, or at other teams, but his long-term Ferrari deal won’t let him on a loan deal to get back a racing seat. argh :S

      • mp4-19b said on 3rd September 2009, 18:34

        @ everyone

        Fisi was on his way to becoming the “Indian” hero. He could have been the one to have transformed the perception of F1 in India & the sub-continent. just imagine the reception he would have got if he had managed to pull off that victory in a Force India. He would have been perceived as a demi-god over there in India. That is what the sport needs in these difficult,uncertain times. many people here in europe dunno how crazy the sub-continent is about f1. Fisi imo has blown it. A win this year with FI could have in all probability ensured him a seat for next year, but all that he has got is the remaining 6 races & thats it. I’m sure Fisi would have gone from zero to hero with that one elusive win with force india, atleast in India. but….

        • Sush Meerkat said on 3rd September 2009, 19:14

          Fisi imo has blown it. A win this year with FI could have in all probability ensured him a seat for next year,

          Your utterly mad, to say an Italian has blown his chances by going to Ferrari at an Italian Grand Prix, its madness, tell that to his face. “your driving for Ferrari Fisi?, what made you make so a rash decision?”

          Fisi is going to test for Ferrari anyway, it was known that Badoa was retiring next year and Fisi was prolly gonna replace him.

        • You’re getting more insane by the day, mp4-19b.

          Maybe you’re to thick to realise but read any of the interviews with Fisichella to see what he has to say about his choice to make the move. He’s stoked, this is his lifelong dream he can fullfil just before the end of his career. Instead the only way you can look at Fisichella’s move is with shameless self interest.

          Why would he give a s&*t about being a hero in India? He’s Italian, so is Ferrari, and they’re quite a bit more prestigious than Force India.

          • Yes, I agree w/ BS…..Fisi will be a ‘demi-god’ in Italy….where he lives.

            Plus, we just read an article about India bashing F1, so ‘demi-god’ might be a little much.

        • Martin said on 4th September 2009, 1:05

          MP4-19…The black helicopters are circling you residence right now and Max, with Bernie are having a big party to honor Ron Dennis tommorrow and your invited.

          You really need to come back to earth on this one.

    • Maksutov said on 3rd September 2009, 16:57

      Fisi can kiss goodbye to his “racing” career after the remaining few races this year. Bad decision all round. I’m just starting to wonder if the race at spa was “sort of pre-arranged” ?

      Firstly I do not think that the race at spa was pre-arranged – it doesnt make sense to even think that. On the contrary what I believe could have happened is that Fisi learned that he will move to Ferrari (prior to Spa) and this brought some extra motivation back into his body and as a result he performed remarkably well at Spa. Emotions drive people in ways you can not imagine.

      But I must agree on the “Fisi can kiss goodbye to his “racing” career” part.

      I think this result was an overall bad move for Fisi (unless he wins every remaining race and does something amazing), since it is very likely that he will become a test driver for Ferrari. And we all know that once you are a test driver for Ferrari, you can kiss your chances goodbye unless someone else has an accident and by then Fisi’s performance will be poor. The only thing Fisi can be happy about is that Ferrari will pay him well.

      • Patrickl said on 3rd September 2009, 22:27

        Why is that a bad move? Fisi has said that he’s at the end of his career and that he would like to continue as Ferrari test driver.

        I have no idea why he would want that since there is no testing to speak off, but it’s what he wants to do.

        • Maksutov said on 4th September 2009, 15:53

          Fisi has said that he’s at the end of his career and that he would like to continue as Ferrari test driver.

          Ah, well if that is what he said then its ok. Didn’t know that was the direction he wanted to take, but yeah he seems very happy about it so far, in which case im happy for him too.

  11. Dougie said on 3rd September 2009, 16:21

    Fantastic news for Fisi, and the most deserving of seats to retire in too. I’m hoping that I can predict a Fisichella win before the seasons out! :-)

    Yeesh! mp4-19b! what are you like!?! LOL!!

    • It might not be as fantastic for Fisi as one may think. Especially in the long term.
      Force India might have a faster can at Monza and until the end of the season than Ferrari.
      Anyway, as of now Ferrari won’t give him a contract for the next season, because they are still waiting for a decisive call regarding Massa.
      It is very probable that at the end of the season Fisi will have to look for a seat for 2010, but most good cars in the field will have been already seated – the Force India cars amongst them.

      • sumedh said on 3rd September 2009, 16:39

        What “long term” are you talking about???

        He has had his time in Formula 1. He is OLD!! At the end of his career. The only way he could have stayed in F1 next year was with one of the new teams or Force India.

        He might as well be a test driver for the top team in Formula 1 and peacefully slip into the oblivion. Everyone will remember him for getting Force India’s first points rather than him trudging along the back of the grid for another year.

        Excellent move by Fisichella.

        • Maksutov said on 3rd September 2009, 17:02

          If Fisi (in his mind and heart) is/was indeed planing to retire, then this was indeed a good move for him. Otherwise I must say it is not the best move if he is planing to extend his racing carrier.

          • In Fisi’s mind, the only thing he cares about is driving the Ferrari. He had his chance, had a good career, and now he just wants to live out his dream to race for not only his home team, but also the biggest name in F1.

            Don’t forget, he drove alongside Fernando at Renault when they won the WDC, he had his chance at great teams, then helped FI to where they are now, then gets to drive for Ferrari….sounds good to me, I’m sure is is ecstatic and proud….

  12. While I understand why Fisi is doing this. After the 5 races with big red, where dose he go next year. Cant see him wanting to be a test driver.

  13. Random Chimp said on 3rd September 2009, 16:25

    He’s gonna get beaten by Vitantonio Liuzzi.

  14. Lady Snowcat said on 3rd September 2009, 16:28

    This allows Ferrari to have a back-up plan in case Massa doesn’t make it back next year….

    Looks like a Alfonso/Fisi line up again like in the old days at Renault…

    Back to the future and…. Kimi to Macca please…

    • Maksutov said on 3rd September 2009, 17:06

      I think Massa will be back. But The only thing that can stop him is his vision. I dont think we have enough information on his condition to know exactly what happened to his eye (or do we!? :| ), but I believe he should recover fully for 2010.

  15. So he wants to be a test driver in a series with no tests? I’m sure it’s lots of fun driving up and down airport tarmacs. Even though it is the holiest of sports teams, that sounds ridiculous. He is not top shelf but he brings a lot more to the table than most of the guys tipped for F1 seats next year.

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