Mallya dismisses Fisi talk as 'media speculation'

Vijay Mallya on Saturday said he had nothing to add to suggestions Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella is set to leave the team. Following the Roman veteran's shock pole at Spa-Francorchamps, speculation he will now replace the struggling...

Vijay Mallya on Saturday said he had nothing to add to suggestions Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella is set to leave the team.

Following the Roman veteran's shock pole at Spa-Francorchamps, speculation he will now replace the struggling Luca Badoer at Ferrari as from the forthcoming Italian Grand Prix hit an even higher gear.

"Everybody here is asking me the same question," Force India owner and boss Mallya said in the Belgian paddock on Saturday.

"It's nothing but a media speculation," the Indian billionaire added. "Neither Ferrari approached me, not Giancarlo told me anything about such a thing. I cannot comment on a media speculation," said Mallya.

Badoer, filling in for the injured Felipe Massa after Michael Schumacher pulled out also due to injury, qualified dead last for the second time in succession and also crashed on Saturday.

But although Ferrari is to contemplate its options ahead of Monza, the 38-year-old Italian would dearly love a third chance to shine in front of his own countrymen.

"Monza is my home track. It's the track where I have spent most time in my life. So for sure I can make a big step there," he told reporters at Spa.

A strong race on Sunday is his best hope of convincing Ferrari bosses to leave him at the wheel of the number 3.

"We will see tomorrow, though it's not that we are talking whether I will be there (at Monza) or not," Badoer explained. "I am sure that with more races I can improve."

He believes the timing of Massa's injuries makes it the worst possible moment for a test driver to step into a race seat.

"Two years ago I was driving the car so much and there was not so much difference compared with the race driver," said Badoer. "Unfortunately you cannot chose everything in life."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Force India