Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has revealed that Giancarlo Fisichella will be free to race in 2010, even though the Italian has just inked a deal to become the squad's reserve driver.
Fisichella signed the agreement recently as part of his move to the Maranello-based outfit to replace veteran test driver, Luca Badoer. Badoer was drafted in as a replacement for the injured Felipe Massa, but he failed to perform at the Belgian and European Grand's Prix and was considerably slower than regular driver and 2007 F1 World champion, Kimi Raikkonen.
Fisichella has thus been handed a dream debut for the Prancing Horse at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, what will be his first of five outings - with Singapore, Suzuki, Interlagos and Abu Dhabi to follow.
However while many thought that would see the 36-year-old sidelined in 2010, it now appears he could continue to race and a return to Force India is one possibility rumoured to be on the cards.
"There are no clauses that would stop him from racing with other teams," Domenicali confirmed to Italian newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport
. "On the contrary, in fact - he could keep himself trained that way."
Meanwhile Domenicali re-iterated that the tifosi
shouldn't expect too much this weekend at Monza from either Fisichella or Raikkonen.
Indeed, despite Raikkonen putting the Scuderia back on the top step of the podium at Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago, Domenicali added that a second win in succession is not likely.
"We know it will be difficult to repeat [what we did in Belgium] because our rivals continue to develop their cars and we do not," he stated in a separate article in Italy's La Stampa
. "But we must be ready to exploit the mistakes of others."
Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo echoed those thoughts: "This will be a grand prix, which is traditionally not very good to us, but we will give it everything for a good result," he continued.
"I am happy that I've chosen an Italian driver, Fisichella, to race here and also Raikkonen is in great form."