Here it comes – Fisichella gets the Ferrari drive

Ferrari Car Number 3

Giancarlo Fisichella gets the Ferrari car number 3

The announcement is here, no surprises. Giancarlo Fisichella will get the Ferrari car no. 3 for the rest of the season after Force India agreed to release him today. Vijay Mallya:

“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.”


This means that there is now a vacancy in Force India. Although nothing has been confirmed yet it is very likely that Vitantonio Liuzzi will be promoted from his 3rd driver role to the race seat.

Here is the full press release from Force India:

Force India release Fisichella to join Ferrari

3 September 2009 – 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 jeopardise 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.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali:

“We have chosen Fisichella because we can expect him to make a valuable contribution in this final part of the season. Giancarlo has shown, throughout his long career, that he is fast and competitive and we are therefore proud to be able to run an Italian driver in our home race.

We wish to thank Luca Badoer for the team spirit he demonstrated in these circumstances: it is a shame he was unable to show his true worth in these last two races, tackled under conditions which anyone would have found difficult.”

Image: Shell Motorsports

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Congratulations Fisoco!

  2. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    And here it is – Domenicali on Fisi:

    “Furthermore we considered what could be his role inside the team in the near future, also taking this year’s experiences into account. He will be the reserve driver in 2010.

  3. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    I think Fisi was hanging up the boots this year anyway.

    And in his shoes if you were given the opportunity to drive a Ferrari for your final five races in F1, i would be retiring a very happy boy!

    Well deserved and congrats to him on getting the seat.

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I was wondering what Vijay’s comment about “secure Giancarlo’s long-term future with Ferrari” meant. By my count, they already have three drivers in line for the two seats (Kimi, Massa, and Alonzo). Of course, Ferrari might have the inside knowledge that F1 is heading to three driver teams…

    • krashNo Gravatar says:

      I think that means the test driver role Fisi will get from next year. So he is already secure for 2010 and hope for beyond…

  5. manatcnaNo Gravatar says:

    If some teams enter three cars, and some two, how does that affect the points

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      If some teams enter three cars, and some two, how does that affect the points

      That is something that hasn’t been worked out yet …

  6. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Ferrari always seem to come out on top of changes. Adding Giancarlo as an insurance policy in case Massa can’t come back or Kimi decides rallying is his future and F1 goes to three cars makes sense to me. Of course, this assumes that the rumors that Alonzo has seat #1 next year is true.

  7. f1dvNo Gravatar says:

    i hope fissi can adapt as quick as he race. otherwise he will perform just as bad as badoer.

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