A good news story for F1
Next Sunday, Giancarlo Fisichella will fulfill his ambition of racing for Ferrari, and what better place to do it than Monza. Fisichella’s links with the team go back to 1995, when he tested for the team. He also drove for Alfa Romeo in the International Touring Car Championship in 1995 and 1996, and in the ETCC as a one-off at Monza in 2003. But other than that, the closest he has got is driving the 2003 Ferrari for Sauber in 2004. Allegedly.
This is a great story for F1 right now – a veteran driver, who has spent most of his career in mediocre machinery, getting a final chance to prove his worth in what will seemingly be the final 5 F1 races of his career. I can’t say I’ve always been a fan of his, but I am supporting him all the way – he’s a passionate, emotional character who has performed admirably over the years without attracting much attention. Although he never quite fulfilled the potential people saw in him in his early years and may be ultimately judged on his unsuccessful spell at Renault, he has been a stalwart of the midfield and thoroughly deserved his 3 wins. Sunday’s performance at Spa proved he still has the talent and desire to win races – I really hope that he can get to grips with the Ferrari quite quickly, gel again with his old Jordan race engineer Rob Smedley, and get some good results, maybe even a final win to cap off his career. It would be a fitting send off for one of the great characters of F1 in the 2000s, a decade that on the whole lacked them. The sport will be a different place without him next year.
As I said, a great news story. But unfortunately I fear it’ll be overshadowed by less positive news in coming weeks as politics, scandal and intrigue look set to take priority. “Singaporegate”, as some have dubbed it already, is very bad news. If it is proved that cheating like this has gone on in F1, it will only damage the sport’s reputation further after the furores of the past few years. The fans will become more suspicious, and it could open the floodgates for more allegations. I just hope the FIA handle it appropriately and justice is done. But this is the FIA we’re talking about…