From Left to Right: Giancarlo Fisichella, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian SutilItalian race fans are in for a big treat at their upcoming home grand prix at Monza this weekend. Not only will their homegrown hero Giancarlo Fisichella, fresh from his command performance at Spa, be driving for their nation's pride-and-joy team Ferrari, but there'll be another Italian driver on the track as well, as Force India has confirmed the promotion of Vitantonio Liuzzi to his compatriot's vacated race seat.
The announcement comes as no big surprise, really, as Liuzzi was expected to get the nod. The promising Red Bull prodigy advanced to Formula One in 2005 after winning the International Formula 3000 feeder series the year before, racing first for the Red Bull Racing team then spending two seasons with Toro Rosso before being dropped in favor Sebastien Bourdais. Tonio has spent the past two seasons as a test driver for Force India, waiting for his chance to get back into the hot seat. And that's exactly what he'll do at his home race this weekend.
As for Fisichella, his contract with Ferrari has emerged as something of a gilded cage. He'll be filling in for Felipe Massa likely for the rest of the season, after which he'll stay on as a test driver next season. Nice work if you can get it, but as David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher could tell you, reverting to test driver – no matter how prestigious the team – is tantamount to retirement.