Giancarlo Fisichella will drive for Ferrari for the rest of the 2009 Formula 1 season before taking a new role as their reserve driver in 2010. The Italian, 36, will replace Luca Badoer as stand-in for the injured Felipe Massa for the final five races.
"It has always been an ambition," said Fisichella, who has been released from his contract with Force India. Force India are yet to name a replacement for Fisichella with reserve driver Vitantonio Liuzzi the favourite. Fisichella, who formerly raced for Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Renault and Sauber, will begin his Ferrari career on home soil at the Italian Grand Prix on 13 September.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed the appointment saying: "We considered what could be his role inside the team in the near future, also taking this year's experiences into account. He will be the reserve driver in 2010.
"We have chosen Fisichella because we can expect him to make a valuable contribution in this final part of the season. He has shown, throughout his long career, that he is fast and competitive and we are therefore proud to be able to run an Italian driver in our home race."
Force India team principal Mallya had insisted on Tuesday that he would turn out his regular team for Monza. But after extensive discussions with Ferrari, Mallya has agreed to release Fisichella from his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season.
"For any Italian driver, a Ferrari race seat is a long-held dream and for Giancarlo it was no exception," Mallya said. "No-one should stand in the way of this. The agreement will secure Fisichella's long-term future with Ferrari and it would be incorrect to jeopardise this.
"We would like to stress that we have not agreed any financial settlement with Ferrari and would like to thank Giancarlo for all his help over the past one-and-a-half seasons and for our first world championship points."
Fisichella's parting gift to Force India was second place at the Belgium Grand Prix, handing the team their first podium and points in their second season in F1.
What a great sportsman Vijay Millya is, he had no reason or incentive to allow Fisi to leave, other than for the good of the driver.
This just shows that even in the modern world of sport, there are some good people out there, who believe in fairness over money.
Now, time for Fisi to show what he is made of, he is a good driver, was excellent for Renault and has been as competitive as one can expect for Force India, of course was exceptional last week, and poor Badoer has been struggling, in a car that hasnt quite found its 5th gear yet.BBC News Report