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Fisichella talks about ‘dream’ Ferrari drive at Monza
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Fisichella talks about ‘dream’ Ferrari drive at Monza
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Aug 2009   |  7:49 am GMT  |  25 comments

Giancarlo Fisichella was at the centre of attention yesterday afternoon in the Spa paddock, being photographed and interviewed left right and centre.

This is because the odds are shortening all the time on him driving a Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix next month and for the remaining races until Felipe Massa comes back. Exactly when that might be will become clearer this weekend as Massa will get a definitive opinion from racing medical guru Steve Olvey in Florida. By Monday the Ferrari team will know if Massa will race again this season. Then they can assess Luca Badoer’s performance this weekend in Spa and make a decision. Massa and his doctors in Brazil continue to peddle the bullish line that he will race in his home Grand Prix.

Ferrari made an emotional decision when they gave Badoer the opportunity in Valencia and even his closest friends would say it was embarrassing. But they felt have to give him this weekend to show what he can do on a track he knows after having had the chance to drive the car for a weekend in Spain.

Now they need a pragmatic decision. They need someone who is certain to score points in the second car and young drivers are not guaranteed to do that, while they are learning.

I spoke to a few team members yesterday and they are mindful of the fact that giving a young driver a race outing in a Ferrari, especially at Monza, is such an immense psychological pressure, few could handle it.

So if Badoer isn’t up to it, the roads are starting to lead to Fisichella. It would take some negotiating to extricate himself from the Force India contract, but as this may well be the end of Fisi’s F1 career anyway, something might be possible.

“For sure, it’s a dream for all the drivers,” Fisichella said. “Especially for me, as an Italian driver, let’s say at the end of my career, so it’s a very good opportunity. It would be nice.

“I have 220 grands prix so far, it would be very good pressure for me. It’s not a big problem, it would be a very good opportunity but so far I can’t say anymore.”

There is no more to say at the moment, because there isn’t yet a vacancy. We will see on Monday whether that situation changes.

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25 Comments
  1. Cabby says:

    Will there be at least some in-season testing for young drivers next year?

    There is so much done to improve safety, and then the teams are forced to put inexperienced drivers in their cars, I meand Badoer and Grosjean almost crashed on their way out of the pits, imagine something like this happening in the pitlane, close to the teams stuff.

  2. Matt Aitch says:

    I can’t believe for one minute Ferrari haven’t got another driver option tucked away ready for when Badoer fails to impress. Bruno Senna maybe? He’s been in Abu Dhabi this week and has tweeted F1 negotiations are going well. Hasn’t Ferrari got Middle Eastern backing? I maybe putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 157 but I would have thought there’s more chance of Senna driving than Fisi.

  3. Ted the Mechanic says:

    I can’t see Badoer making any progress up the field at Spa, let alone troubling the pointskeepers. So he knows the track… Big deal! A good driver in the Ferrari for the first time at Valencia wouldn’t have been dead last. I can’t believe he has been a Ferrari test driver for so long, surely his contribution to the car’s performance must be questionable.

    1. Ted the Mechanic says:

      Put Fisi in the car!

    2. Racing not politics says:

      I agree 100%, Badoer is 2 seconds slower than Kimi after today’s practice session. What value can you put on his opinion of how the car feels in testing when he isn’t playing in the same league as the rest of the field.

      I’m not quick and have no doubt he is talented but he is not one of the fastest 20 drivers in the world for sure

  4. davidturnedge says:

    Fisi in a Ferrari… does he deserve it?

    1. Werewolf says:

      Fisichella’s Italian, and if what can be read elsewhere about Di Montezemolo’s political aspirations are correct, there are more points at stake the world championship ones.

      Hasn’t Todt been criticised for putting his personal ambitions first over the Mosley affair?

    2. Ciaran says:

      He did alright in qualifying!

  5. Hammad says:

    Yeah, Fisi will probably be better than Badoer. Wait, no, he’ll definitely be better. And I don’t think extraction will be a problem, since it appears Mallaya (is that how you spell it?) owes Ferrari money.

  6. Simon Haynes says:

    Good luck to Fisi! It could be some months before Massa is ready to drive again, so Ferrari really need someone who might also be free to drive the first few races in 2010 as well. Obviously I hope Massa is back and raring to go, but with a head injury he doesn’t want to be given the decision of being on the grid for the first race of 2010 or sitting out the whole season.

  7. Warren says:

    Next it will be Alesi for the seat!

    1. Werewolf says:

      Wait … Froilan Gonzalez! He won Ferrari’s first championship GP, was a personal friend of Enzo’s and is only slightly less race ready than Badoer!

    2. Malcolm46 says:

      Now your talking!!! That would be brilliant, why not get Gehard Berger as well?! Happy days!

  8. Dermot Keelan says:

    For all his promise, Fisi has never delivered the goods when he had a race winning car under him. Obviously this years Ferrari is not looking like it will be a race winner – but I still don’t think Fisi should be put in the car. If they’re so short on options, which they clearly are, Ferrari should at least be trying to put an Italian with some promise into the car…there is no doubt in my mind that Liuzzi would fly at Monza given the chance.

  9. Werewolf says:

    Personally, I would welcome Fisichella as much as any of the experienced drivers that maybe available, mainly out of curiosity to see how quick he can still be. While he has often disappointed in what appeared to be the best machinery, many of his better performances have been with midfield cars (Jordan, Sauber), so this year’s Ferrari may be in his operating window.

    This year’s comparitive speed against Sutil, though, is probably not encouraging but motivation maybe a factor.

  10. john g says:

    if anyone didn’t see the FP1 coverage this morning, there was a very funny bit where ted was describing a young driver (can’t remember either jules bianchi, or bortolotti) and nicholas todt talking to various people in the garage behind badoer’s car, and tried to get the camera’s there to get a shot. but the camera’s missed him, and all we got was luca colliane (sp?) laying into the fat ferrari mechanic (the one with a goatee, you all know the guy) and nicholas todt.

    i’m a bigger fan of liuzzi than fisi, i think his time as an f1 race driver was cut short, but lets face it either would be better than badoer.

    i don’t see that ferrari need to test a new guy, as they won’t have a seat for him anyway, they always have a queue of top drivers looking for a seat. what they need is someone reliable to pick up a few extra points for the rest of this year.

  11. Red Andy says:

    It would be great if Fisi was put in the Ferrari and gave Raikkonen something to think about. Besides ice cream, obviously.

  12. Simon Haynes says:

    Actually, why don’t they approach Trulli? If his Toyota seat is in doubt for next season they’d probably let him go, and he’d have several races in the Ferrari to prove his pace vs Raikkonen, which might lead to another decent drive next year.

  13. Red Kimi says:

    Let Fisi drive at Monza!!!!!!!

  14. P Byrne says:

    What advantage would it be to Ferrari to blood a promising young driver at the moment? With the huge pressure there is a big chance he’ll score no points for them. And if he turns out to be a superstar they’re only providing a driver for another team – they already have more drivers than seats (allegedly)…

    I used to thinbk Fisi was a superstar in waiting. I still think he had the talent but perhaps not the aggression (or dare i say it, intellegence?) to be a top-liner. Wasn’t it only 5 years ago or so he was voted ‘driver’s driver’ by his colleagues? Those years being pounded by Alonso turned him into a journeyman.

  15. Paul Mc says:

    Cant believe Fisi could get to drive a Ferrari! Crazy!!!

    He hasnt been on form for years and even in a Championship car at Renault he failed to perform consistently and came off rather amateur. We got used to hearing “Come on Fisi!” radio messages from the Renault pit team like this classic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgH2_beR_rU

    He is simply not good enough and im my opinion does not deserve a go in a Ferrari

  16. Jos The Boss says:

    You know, Look-how-bad-you-are might not be too dodgy at Monza, with it’s lack of corners. Today at Spa in FP2 he was bang on the pace in the first sector which only contained one turn. As soon as he got into sector 2, with it’s long corners, he was mincemeat. Apart from the Lesmos and Parabolica at Monza he should be right up there! If The Tifosi are so bothered about getting an Italian into the car for their home gp they should go for Liuzzi, Fisi had his chance at Renault, after 3 years of mediocre performances he even had the cheek to turn round and say ‘the winning car I was promised never arrived’, aye apart from the one that won back to back titles in 05-06 as you were on the podium a paltry 8 times in 37 races!

  17. Meeklo says:

    come’on put Villeneuve in the Ferrari

  18. David Smith says:

    James.

    Could you possibly try and get a word with Rob Smedley again over the belguim gp weekend and let us know his thoughts on Badoer again. It would be interesting to hear Robs views on all this and how he is feeling.

    Im sure you wont dissapoint.

  19. Grabyrdy says:

    I’d love to see Fisi in a Ferrari. There was a time when people like us voted him the next best thing on the grid after Schumi, and we were all agog at what he could do when he got in a top car. And then for some reason he disappointed us all, capable of great things but seemingly not for the whole race. But he’s Italian, he’s always dreamt of driving a Ferrari, and was shut out in the “international” age of Todt. He’s done enough to merit it, and he’ll do a hell of a better job than Luca. He’d be within half a second maximum of Kimi.

    PS What a pity Mike Salo is not still around. ferrari owed him one.

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