Maranello, Italy: Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella left Force India on Thursday to join Ferrari for the rest of the Formula One (F1) season.
Changing team: Fisichella. Yves Logghe / AP
Ferrari has been anxious to find a better replacement for the injured Felipe Massa after the team’s longtime test driver, Luca Badoer, qualified last and finished no better than 14th in his first two races since stepping in for the Brazilian.
“We have chosen Fisichella because we can expect him to make a valuable contribution in this final part of the season,” Ferrari team director Stefano Domenicali said. “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.”
The Italian Grand Prix in Monza is on 13 September.
“We wish to thank Luca Badoer for the team spirit he demonstrated in these circumstances,” Domenicali added.
Force India chairman Vijay Mallya said Fisichella’s management team came to him Wednesday with Ferrari’s proposal. “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,” Mallya said.