Ex-Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella has revealed he has no regrets over his decision to join Ferrari in 2009.
The Italian, who had three race wins in his Formula 1 career, was offered the chance to drive the F60 for the final five races of the season in the absence of the injured Felipe Massa.
Fisichella was, at the time, representing Force India and had just achieved the team’s first ever podium finish, as he claimed P2 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
While disappointed to lose his man, Force India boss Vijay Mallya was not going to stand in his way as he recognised what a move to Ferrari means to any driver, never mind an Italian.
As recently quoted by Motorsport.com, Fisichella said: “It was impossible to say no to Ferrari. Especially for me, because I was coming to the end of my career. This was my only chance to drive a Ferrari in F1.
“I was in a difficult position because at that time Force India was performing well. I had been on pole at Spa and I finished second, and even though I [finally] didn’t get a good result in the last five races with Ferrari, I still think that is the choice of my life.”
— Giancarlo Fisichella (@OfficialFisico) January 29, 2021
Fisichella did not make it higher than P9 in his races for Ferrari, and despite having a deal in place to remain Ferrari’s reserve driver for the 2010 season, he was reported to be keen on finding a new permanent drive for the following year.
That never escalated, though, and the Italian has revealed the reason why.
He said: “It was just time to stop. Maybe if I had been able to find a state-of-the-art steering wheel [for the 2010 season], my choice would have been different.
“There was a possibility of continuing to race in F1 but not with Ferrari. I didn’t want to stay in F1 with a small team and fight for 14th, 15th or 16th place. I was almost 37 years old and had competed in almost 230 Grand Prix.
“I had won a few races, signed a few pole positions, I thought it was time to decide to take a new path.”
Fisichella has kept his ties with Ferrari over the years, competing in the likes of the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ferrari car.
He added: “I’m happy with my decision and I have no regrets. It has given me the opportunity to continue racing with Ferrari. I’m Italian, so it’s great to race for Ferrari. When I’m at home for more than a month, I start to miss the races.”