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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Fisichella to Ferrari

Force India release Fisichella to join Ferrari Following extensive discussions over the past 24 hours, the Force India Formula One Team has agreed to release Giancarlo Fisichella from his contract to join the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team for the remainder of the 2009 season, starting with immediate effect.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal, commented, '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 jeopardize this, particularly when Giancarlo has made such a vital contribution to Force India.

'We would like to stress that we have not agreed any financial settlement with Ferrari. 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.

'For Force India, this sport is a team effort and removing one part, even a major one, will not significantly affect our performance. The competitiveness of the team seen in Belgium was a result of hard work in the factory and wind tunnel and we have further developments coming for the final races, so we are confident this momentum can be sustained. We are now looking forward to a strong finish to the season.'

Giancarlo commented, 'I am very grateful to Vijay Mallya for allowing me this opportunity to drive for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team. It is true that it has always been an ambition to do this, and for Vijay to have allowed it to become a reality is very generous. I hope in my turn I have helped Force India grow up and be on the right path to achieve their own ambitions. They are now a very competitive team and I wish them all the very best.'

A decision regarding the driver of car number 21 will be made in the coming days and no further comment will be made on this front. Force India PR
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 10:09 AM
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Giancarlo is a good driver. He will do well at Ferrari.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Agreed, I'm happy for him. I don't quite buy Vijay's altruistic posture, though. They still owe Ferrari a ton of money for engines before they switched to Mercedes. This was done "for the good of the sport"? More like, this was done so Ferrari doesn't sue our asses off for non payment.

So with Alonso's imminent switch to Ferrari, Kimi coming out of his coma last weekend (except at the press conference), and Massa recovering nicely for next year, Ferrari suddently has an embarassment of riches in the drivers department.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Fisichella to be Ferrari reserve driver in 2010 (GMM) Stefano Domenicali confirmed on Thursday that Giancarlo Fisichella will be Ferrari's reserve driver in 2010.

The team boss was speaking to the Ferrari website on the day the 36-year-old former Force India driver arrived at Maranello from Rome to begin preparing for the last five races of 2009.

Domenicali indicated that Fisichella's role for next year was a factor in his choice as Luca Badoer's race replacement.

"He will be the reserve driver in 2010. We considered what could be his role inside the team in the near future, also taking this year's experiences into account," he said.

Before ending his long race career and slipping into the test role, Fisichella will replace the struggling Badoer at the wheel of injured Felipe Massa's number 3 F60, beginning at his home race at Monza next weekend.

One of his first tasks on Thursday was to climb straight into the cockpit of the red single seater so that technicians could begin to modify the seat and controls to his liking.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 03:52 PM
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A bit of bitter sweet news. One the one hand Fisichella fulfills his lifelong dream to race for Ferrari, one the other hand its only for the remainder of the season.
He'll probably try to do give Kimi tough competition, for the chance to keep the racing cockpit for next season.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I look for Fisi to race his ass off for the rest of the season. He's no spring chicken, but it will be fun to watch.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gerkebi View Post
I look for Fisi to race his ass off for the rest of the season. He's no spring chicken, but it will be fun to watch.
Same here. If Rubens can do it, he can.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 11:15 PM
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Fisi ‘can’t believe’ dream has come true

F1 | ITV Sport

Fisi ‘can’t believe’ dream has come true

Thursday, 03 September 2009 00:00

Giancarlo Fisichella admits he still hasn’t taken in the news that his lifelong dream of racing for Ferrari is set to become a reality at the Italian Grand Prix in just over a week’s time.

The Maranello squad confirmed on Thursday that it had signed Fisichella to race alongside Kimi Raikkonen for the remainder of the 2009 season, after securing the Italian’s release from his Force India contract.

The announcement capped a fairytale week for the 36-year-old veteran, who played a starring role in last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, taking pole position for Force India and narrowly missing out on an improbable victory.

Fisichella visited the Ferrari factory on Thursday afternoon, where he met team principal Stefano Domenicali, had a seat fitting and was introduced to some of the technical staff.

“I’m in seventh heaven,” he told Ferrari’s website.

“I still can’t believe it that the dream of my life comes true and I want to thank Ferrari and chairman Luca di Montezemolo.

“Over the last week some really incredible things happened to me: the pole position and then second place at Spa and now I’m called by Ferrari to race the last five races of the season for them.

“I’ll give my best to pay the team back for this great opportunity they have given me.

“I know that it won’t be easy, but I’ll give it everything to gain the best possible results.”

Amid his understandable joy at the turn of events, Fisichella spared a sympathetic word for Luca Badoer, the man who he will replace in the #3 Ferrari.

Badoer had an unhappy time in his two outings as Felipe Massa’s stand-in, qualifying and racing at the back of the field having not competed in F1 for nearly a decade.

“I want to say that I’m very sorry for Luca,” Fisichella said.

“I know how much he wanted to race in Monza behind the wheel of a Ferrari, because this is the best thing that can happen to an Italian driver, to drive a red car in front of our fans.”

While the Italian GP will mark Fisichella’s race debut for Ferrari, he tested the team’s 412 T2 Formula 1 car at Fiorano on 27 September 1995, when he was 22 years old.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 07:11 PM
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It's a good thing for Fisi and lucky for Ferrari that it has happened.

IMO it sucks that a wealth team like Ferrari have always poached drivers and not really developed their own.

I hope Fisi settles in well and will give Kimi a good run for his money!

Andrew

"That's the way I like it baby, I don't want to live forever"- Lemmy

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