Ferrari has had plenty of time to get its hands on Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian driver has been on the grid since 1995 when he started as a test driver for Minardi, and later driving for Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault and now Force India. But the Scuderia wasn't interested. Not until its fortunes were down, and Fisico's were up.
The 36-year-old driver pulled off a shocking command performance at this past weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, grabbing pole position and a relentless second place behind Ferrari's own Kimi Raikkonen. All the while, Ferrari itself has been struggling with its veteran test driver Luca Badoer, who has been suffering from a difficult time readjusting to the competition. The team's test driver, promoted to the race seat after ten years of developmental duties when Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher were both knocked out of commission by head-eye injuries (as has now been revealed), has finished the two races he started so far in 17th and 14th positions. Ferrari is plainly disappointed and embarrassed, but with no junior driver in place for a rainy day, Maranello has been left with little choice.
For his part, Ferrari's outspoken former triple world champion Niki Lauda has called on the team to poach Fisichella from Force India, which is experiencing financial troubles and would surely take the money and run. One way or another, Fisichella's in for a hero's welcome at his home race at Monza into two weeks. And Ferrari will have an experienced Italian driver behind the wheel for the Italian Grand Prix. Exactly which one that will be, however, remains to be seen.
[Source: F1-Live | Image: Fred DuFour/AFP/Getty]