Friday, September 4, 2009

Fisichella joins Ferrari

Well, I sure called that one, didn't I? Not.

I sure hope Force India will be well compensated for releasing Fisichella. I still think that Fisichella was Force India's best chance to secure meaningful results, and the lack of those results will hurt the team's ability to attract sponsorship.

One mistake I made in my analysis was to assume that Fisichella was still thinking of continuing beyond this year. Many articles this week have made mention that Fisichella was hoping to be named Ferrari test/reserve driver for 2010, a position which would be almost totally ceremonial in today's testing-free environment. Take away Fisichella's concerns for the future, and going to Ferrari now is a good move for him.

It is a good move for Ferrari, too. Fisichella represents perhaps the best chance to convert the 2009 car's capabilities into points. Although those chances may narrow somewhat as the team moves their focus to the 2010 car.

The Monza setup should be well-developed though. It is the home race for Ferrari, and even though it is a one-off in terms of downforce and car configuration, the team will come well prepared.

Finally, by retaining Fisichella for the remaining races, Massa is given the rest of the year to heal and get ready for next year. Although I am sure Massa will be itching to get back in it, it probably won't be a bad idea that his next turn behind the wheel will be in testing and not a high-pressure Grand Prix weekend.