In business or in politics, those driven by their careers typically aim for the highest position they can get to, and after they're done there, they typically retire. But not in motor racing. With an expiration date hovering in their mid-30s at best, Formula One drivers typically seek out other racing series to compete in once they've outlived their career on the grand prix circuit. And there is no lack of racing disciplines that are glad to welcome them in with open arms as motor racing royalty
Operating a Formula One team is no cheap endeavor for an automaker, which could be why Honda, Toyota and BMW all dropped theirs when the going got tough. But not the Fiat Group. With the Scuderia Ferrari under its umbrella, Fiat has access to a cadre of experienced racing and test drivers, and all without spending a penny: Ferrari claims it operates its F1 team without any investment from its parent company. And what's more is that its drivers are some of the best in the world.
First thing this morning, no one knew who'd be replacing Luca Badoer in the second Ferrari alongside Kimi Raikkonen – in addition to Williams test driver Nico Hulkenberg and former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais, the likes of current BMW driver Robert Kubica had been mentioned. Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella's name has also been persistently mooted, but the scuttlebutt was consistently shot down by team principal Vijay Mallya.
When Felipe Massa was taken out of commission at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, the questions on everyone's mind was who would replace him and when he'd be back. With regards to the former, Ferrari is one of the few teams on the grid that doesn't have a junior driver development program in place. The team doesn't usually have a problem getting the best drivers, but when disaster (literally) struck, the Scuderia was left without options.
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.
For those who think this is shaping up to be an exciting F1 season, next year should be a stunner. The FIA has confirmed that traction control will not be allowed in 2008. With traction control about to be banned from F1, Formula One Drivers are split on the decision. Most have said they support the move, but most racers will usually say they prefer fewer electronic aids getting in the way of pure mechanical feel and control of the vehicle. At this level of performance, however, the drivers ofte