Italian racer released by Force India
3 September 2009

Giancarlo Fisichella will be the second Ferrari driver from the Italian Grand Prix, after he was released from his contract by his Force India team on Thursday.

The announcement was made by Force India, which confirmed that Fisichella would switch teams from the Italian Grand Prix.

The team said that discussions with Ferrari began in the last 24 hours, once it became clear that Massa was out for the season.

Force India owner Dr Vijay Mallya said: "Giancarlo and his management team approached me yesterday with the proposal from Ferrari.

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

"Furthermore the agreement will secure Giancarlo's long-term future with Ferrari and it would be incorrect to jeopardise this, particularly when Giancarlo has made such a vital contribution to Force India."

Force India is understood to have outstanding debts with Ferrari left over from its customer engine supply deal that ended last year - but Mallya said that commercial factors did not have a role in the outcome.

"We would like to stress that we have not agreed any financial settlement with Ferrari," he said. "This agreement has been made in good faith and for the good of Giancarlo and the sport in general. A competitive Italian driver in a Ferrari for Monza is a positive story for Formula One, which can only help raise the sport's profile in these difficult times.

"We would like to thank Giancarlo for all his help over the past one and a half seasons and for delivering us our first World Championship points last weekend. He has been an integral part of the team and we owe him a great deal for his input behind the scenes and performance out on track. We wish him all the best for the future."

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Force India has not made a decision who will drive alongside Adrian Sutil for the rest of the season, although it is expected that test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi will step up.

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3 September 2009

Well done Fisi!

Maybe this is his swansong and he'll be Ferrari test driver at the end of the year, or he'll be oplaced with a Ferrari customer team?

Not a bad seat to finish in!

3 September 2009

Great news, I hope he can get another win under his belt before he hangs up his gloves, I think he certainly deserved to win a few more than he has over the years and it should make the atmosphere at Monza electric!

I'm a little sad for Force India though, after all their hard work clawing their way from the back of the grid to a 2nd place finish... but then the way this season's turning out Fisi will probably end up being overtaken by Luizzi driving his old car.

3 September 2009

Nice one Fisi, "Very appy" again I'm sure.

I heard that Force India got very excited when they received a letter from Schumacher asking to drive for them. They were just about to say yes when they realised it was from Ralf!

3 September 2009

Should make for an interesting battle with Kimi Raikonnen at Monza...

3 September 2009

[quote Vijay Mallya]the agreement will secure Giancarlo's long-term future with Ferrari[/quote]

Congratulations Fisi and good on you, Mr Mallya. I'm sure Italy will go mad, finally seeing an Italian in a red car at Monza.

So Fisi will end up as Ferrari test driver from next season - and Badoer will lose his day job too. Badoer's worst problem seemed to be inconsistency, which is surely the most prized asset of a test driver. Its a shame but Badoer has proved he can't cut it in F1 so surely his career is over. Badoer by name...

3 September 2009

Strange how he has had a bad few years but when there was a sniff that ferrari may be interested in him he has a blinder for force india, sack him he couldn't have been trying before!

3 September 2009

Erm, is that entirely fair DorsetDave? It's not as though Sutil is out there picking up wins with Fisi asleep at the back of the grid now is it? I'm not saying that Fisi isn't prone to doing a bit of a Kimi, Alonso or Barrichello now and again but maybe a Ferrari drive will be enough of a boost to show us what Fisi could have delivered if he'd not ended up in some pretty duff race cars during his career.

At the very least it'll be interesting to see if he beats KR!

3 September 2009

[quote amble]Erm, is that entirely fair DorsetDave? It's not as though Sutil is out there picking up wins with Fisi asleep at the back of the grid now is it? [/quote]

Sutil has out qualified him all year!

3 September 2009

Like heck is it not financial. Even if there has been no formal agreement, you can bet they are hoping that the smooth passage they have allowed Fisi won't turn in to a write off of the debt.

Also, put yourself in Force India's position. You've just scored you best position ever with your top driver, in a car with a new aero package and they are desperately in need of some sort of financial input - would you let Fisi go unless there was something in it for you?

What ever the situation, well done Fisi. Dream come true.



It's all about the twisties........

3 September 2009

I have to say that I wrote Fisi off as one of the journeymen of F1 but his drive on Sunday was outstanding.

You make your own luck especially in F1 and I am afraid to say he never did up until now.I hope he does do a brilliant job at Ferrari.

I for one will give him a little more respect from now on.


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