The most recent worst kept secret in Formula One has been confirmed. Giancarlo Fisichella has been released from his Force India contract and has signed with Ferrari for the remainder of the 2009 season.
Fisichella was considered the favourite to replace Luca Badoer as the driver of the #3 Ferrari after Badoer’s poor performance at the European GP in Valencia. Another poor showing by Badoer at Spa sealed his fate. Badoer himself was the replacement for Felipe Massa who was injured when he was hit by a spring off Rubens Barrichello’s car.
Force India owner Vijay Mallya said that he wasn’t going to stand in the way of Fisichella, an Italian, living out his dream of driving for Ferrari. It’s also worth noting that Force India is rumoured to owe Ferrari payment for an engine agreement that ended last season so there might be an underlying understanding between FI and Ferrari that allowed this to happen.
Meanwhile, Force India has drafted test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi into Fisichella’s vacated race seat. Liuzzi was last seen in F1 driving for Toro Rosso in 2007.