After days of speculation, the truth has finally emerged. Giancarlo Fisichella will join Ferrari after intense discussions between the Force India management, Fisichella & his associates as well as Team Scuderia Ferrari with immediate effect. His first race for team Ferrari will be at Monza, its home race.
In a press release issued by the team, team principal and Chairman, Dr Vijay Mallya said, '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 beincorrect to jeopardise this, particularly when Giancarlo has made such a vital contribution to Force India.'
He also clarified that there was no financial transaction involved between his team and Ferrari and that the move was done in 'good faith'. Sources within the fraternity however seem to suggest the deal was done as Force India did owe some money for the Ferrari engine deal last season, and therefore the possibility of a transaction were slim.
This move marks the end to all the speculation that was rife on the paddock at Spa after Felipe Massa's stand-in and Ferrari test driver, Luca Badoer failed to perform for the second consecutive race. Badoer's 14th and last was in contrast to team mate Kimi Raikkonen's win at Belgium last weekend. Incidentally, Kimi had a long fought battle with Giancarlo Fisichella at the same race and called in for all his resources to stave off Fisichella, who eventually finished second.
The 36-year old's strong pole qualifying performance and the first points for Force India did not go unnoticed by the Scarlet team, who were quick to make their move over the week. While Fisichella is currently being employed until the end of the season, it is not known if he will fill into Raikkonen's shoes, who is speculated to be looking at pastures outside F1.
Meanwhile, Force India will find the going tough as it tries to fill in a driver for car number 21. Vitantonio Liuzzi, the test driver looks like a strong contender, but the team hasn't confirmed the news yet.