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Fisichella: I don't regret switching to Ferrari 29 Oct 2009

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil,  Sunday, 18 October 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60 and Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 4 October 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Preparations, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 29  October 2009

When Giancarlo Fisichella imagined himself driving for Ferrari, he probably didn’t envisage he’d end up further down the grid than he had been at Force India. But unfortunately that is what has transpired for Fisichella since he switched teams in September to fill in for the injured Felipe Massa.

Fresh from scoring Force India’s first pole position and podium finish at August's Belgian Grand Prix, the 36 year-old decided to fulfil his boyhood fantasy and drive for the Scuderia. However, with his best qualifying position 14th and his best race result ninth, things haven’t quite gone to plan. The Italian, however, insisted on Thursday that he doesn’t have any regrets.

“I think for me, the opportunity to race for Ferrari was a dream I’d had since I was a child,” he said. “In the end it came true, when I had given up hope that it would ever happen. So you should never say never! I am very happy with what I have done and I would not turn back the clock, even if I have struggled in these last few races with Ferrari.”

Since making his debut almost two months ago, Fisichella's difficulties have been well documented. However, at the recent Brazilian Grand Prix he was within four tenths of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen’s fastest lap, and he’s hopeful he may be able to make amends in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It is not easy to get into a car you don’t know, which was made even more complex because of the use of KERS, and the fact it handled very differently under braking,” he explained. “Recently, I was able to match Kimi’s pace in the race, so this weekend, I hope to have a better qualifying which would be the first step to getting some points. I will give it my best shot.”

After his spell racing for Ferrari, Fisichella has been contracted to become the team’s third driver for the 2010 season. But the veteran hasn’t quite given up on a return to a Formula One race seat just yet.

“I have a contract with Ferrari for next year,” he said. “But If there was an offer from another team, I would along with Ferrari and evaluate whether or not it would be feasible to be the third driver and race for another team in F1. At the moment, there is no decision. But to be the third driver for a top team like Ferrari is already something to be very proud of. The atmosphere is fantastic here and I really feel at home.”

With current Renault driver Fernando Alonso set to partner a returning Massa at Ferrari next season, this weekend’s Yas Marina race will also be Raikkonen’s last for the team. And ahead of the on-track action in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo paid tribute to the departing Finn.

“Kimi entered the history of the Scuderia, winning the world title in his first year,” said Montezemolo. “He has always been an honest boy, transparent and loyal and we will always remember him with joy. I’m glad that I can be here with him and the team on the occasion of his last Grand Prix in this particularly difficult year. Let’s hope we can gain a good result.”

Raikkonen has yet to reveal his plans for 2010.