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.
With Michael Schumacher now confirmed to have canceled his comeback due to a neck injury sustained in a motorcycle accident, Ferrari has been left with no choice but to put one of its veteran test drivers into Felipe Massa's seat until the injured Brazilian is ready to return to active duty. The trouble is that while other teams use the test driver position to groom up-and-coming drivers for the race seat, Ferrari's approach has been to use older, more experienced drivers past their prime.
- Biggest automotive sales disappointments
- Fastest-depreciating cars in the United States
- Find and compare 2017 Models