We talked about this briefly last week – and I have to admit I was a little sceptical regarding the validity of it – but it appears the rumour mongering was on the money.
Fisichella was released from his contract by Force India today, no doubt with something of a heavy heart after Giancarlo’s storming drive to second spot at last weekend’s Belgian GP.
FI boss, and coolest man in Formula 1 – he’s like the anti-Flavio Briatore – Vijay Mallya said today: “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.”
The ‘securing Giancarlo’s long-term future’ line would seem to indicate that Fisi’s in there as test driver next year, which is a smart move all round.
It’s generally a very stand-up thing to do on Mallya’s part, and although Force India apparently still owe Ferrari money for last year’s engines, Mallya said, “we would like to stress that we have not agreed any financial settlement with Ferrari. This agreement has been made in good faith.”
This thankfully ends the short lived resurrection of Luca Badoer, who really wasn’t pulling his weight as replacement for the recovering Felipe Massa, and hopefully opens the door for FI test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi to race again.
Hurrah all round for this feel good Thursday story.