‘I’m Happy With My Decision’ – Fisichella Has No Regrets Over His Failed Stint With Ferrari F1

Published 02/10/2021, 4:47 AM EST


Not many drivers get the privilege to drive for F1’s most illustrious team, Ferrari. For a great number of up-and-coming drivers over the decades, the Maranello-based outfit has been a dream destination. However, not everyone’s dream can be fulfilled, but Giancarlo Fisichella was one among a select lot who got to live out his dream, albeit for a short and rather unsuccessful while.

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The Italian driver got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was asked to replace the injured Felipe Massa for the final five races of the 2009 F1 season. He had been driving for Force India and had just finished on the podium in the previous race.

Fisichella jumped at the chance and raced the F60 until the end of the season. However, he couldn’t score a single point for the team. A P9 finish was the highest he bagged. Nevertheless, he doesn’t regret his decision.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The Italian said (translated via Google), “It was impossible to say no to Ferrari. Especially for me because I was nearing the end of my career. It was my only chance to drive a Ferrari in F1.

“Even though I [ultimately] didn’t have good results in the last five races with Ferrari, I still think today that it remains the choice of my life.”

Despite his failed stint with the Scuderia and his subsequent retirement from the sport, the opportunity to continue racing for the Italian brand presented itself and Fisichella took it.

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16 LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF1000, action during the Formula 1 Winter Tests at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Giancarlo said, “I didn’t want to stay in F1 with a small team and fight for 14th, 15th or 16th place. I was almost 37 and I ‘had done nearly 230 Grands Prix. I had won a few races, signed a few pole positions, I thought it was time to decide to take a new path.”

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The new path was to sign up with AF Corse, a team with strong ties to Ferrari. Fisichella raced for them in the World Endurance Championship, even winning the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012. He still continues to race for Ferrari in the GT series.

Fisichella said, “I am happy with my decision and have no regrets. It gave me the opportunity to continue racing with Ferrari. I’m Italian so it’s great to race for Ferrari. “

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To this date, Fisichella remains the last Italian driver to drive for Ferrari. The historic team itself is going through a bad patch at the moment. To revive themselves and get back to former glory, they have taken a cue from rival Mercedes.

Will it pay off for them in the long run? Only time will tell.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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