Ferrari new boy Giancarlo Fisichella finished just outside the points on his first outing with the Maranello-based outfit last weekend and despite failing to score he has insisted he was happy with his performance at the Italian Grand Prix.

Fisichella, who was drafted in to replace Luca Badoer, eventually finished almost a minute behind his team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, and for that matter his old team-mate, Force India's Adrian Sutil, the former eventually taking the final spot on the podium - although admittedly Kimi only inherited third on the last lap when Lewis Hamilton binned his McLaren.

Fisi was always going to be in for a tough weekend however, given he couldn't test the car - due to the rules - and only got his first taste of the Ferrari F60 on Friday.

He also admitted that his crash in Saturday morning's practice session compromised his form in qualifying. In the end he had to settle for 14th spot on the grid and that left him with a lot of work to do on Sunday.

Speaking following the thirteenth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship, Fisi added that the opening lap was also tough as Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel was extremely aggressive.

"I am happy with the way things went in my first race weekend with Ferrari. At the start, I managed to make up a few places, then I had a difficult moment with Vettel, who closed the door on me going into Ascari in a way that was, let's say, very decisive," Fisichella reflected.

"In the first part of the race, I felt comfortable on the softer tyre, while I struggled a bit more on the harder one, especially after the pit stop. It's a shame I only just missed out on a points finish, but this afternoon, I did the best I could.

"I am upset that I went off the track in FP3, which prevented me from being as well prepared as possible for qualifying: starting a bit further forward might have seen me finish in the top eight.

"Right from tomorrow morning, I will be concentrating totally on preparing for the race in Singapore, a track that I like a lot."

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali and chief track engineer, Chris Dyer meanwhile both felt that Fisichella did a solid job, even if he did only finish ninth.

"Giancarlo had a good race, just missing out on a top eight finish: his weekend built up and up and I am sure that, as from the next race, he will be able to give the team what it needs in terms of points," said Domenicali.

Dyer concurs that Fisichella will only get better: "Giancarlo ended up just outside the points, but this was nevertheless a positive weekend for him and we are confident that he is capable of making an important contribution to the team in the final part of the season," he summed-up.