The Reuters global sports blog
Fisichella is the right man for Ferrari
Giancarlo Fisichella and Ferrari would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, as well as good box office for Monza next week.
The little Roman gets to live out the dream he thought would never come true while Ferrari get a driver who is demonstrably quick as well as being a safe and completely loyal pair of hands.
Fisichella is already fired up after the race of his life in Belgium last weekend, where he started on pole and finished second for Force India.
Ferrari know he will be a team player, committed to the cause as both fan and patriot and his loyalty cemented by a testing contract for 2010.
As of Thursday, Fisichella is part of the Ferrari family.
If Michael Schumacher is not coming back, then the last Italian to win a grand prix is certainly far better box office than Luca Badoer — someone who has not scored a point in 51 starts.
The thought of Badoer qualifying last, for the third race in a row, in front of the tifosi at the temple of Italian motorsport next week did not bear thinking about.
Ferrari, who have not used four drivers in a single season since 1982 when Gilles Villeneuve was killed in practice at Zolder and Didier Pironi suffered career-ending injuries at Hockenheim, really had very little choice.
If they are going to hang on to third place in the championship, then they cannot rely solely on Kimi Raikkonen to do it.
Badoer said last weekend that it would be absurd to replace him now, with Monza a track he could race with his eyes closed, but he said also that he would be more at home at Spa and still he was last.
“We have chosen Fisichella because we can expect him to make a valuable contribution in this final part of the season,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali.
“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.”
PHOTO: Ferrari team mates at Monza. Spa race winner Kimi Raikkonen with second-placed Giancarlo Fisichella. REUTERS/Yves Herman