Giancarlo Fisichella, widely touted for a move to Ferrari for the Italian Grand Prix next week, will instead be remaining with Force India at Monza, team boss Villya Mallya insisted on Tuesday.
Veteran Italian Fisichella caused a minor sensation when running Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen close in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix for his team's first ever championship points.
The Spa-Francorchamps pitlane was alive with rumors that Ferrari were planning to approach Fisichella after losing patience with their test driver Luca Bodoer.
Bodoer has stepped in for the injured Felipe Massa, who is due for a return in 2010, in the European and Belgian grand prix, qualifying in last place in both Valencia and Spa.
Only on Monday a Fisichella move appeared on the cards after Force India's commerical director Ian Phillips said he was expecting an offer from Ferrari.
But Mallya dismissed the notion of losing his No 1 driver, telling the BBC: "Fisichella has himself clarified that he has 'not received any invitation from Ferrari' and went on to add that 'he was looking forward to driving the Force India car at the Monza GP'," Mallya said.
"There has been absolutely no change whatsoever on this front since yesterday and we look forward to Fisichella scorching the tracks at Monza," he said.
Mallya's comments came on the day that Ferrari said they were reassured by the latest medical tests conducted in Miami on Massa who was seriously injured in a freak accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest on July 25.
The Brazilian was left with head injuries after being hit by a flying object which had become detached from Rubens Barrichello's car.
"The tests carried out are positive. Everything is right for him to return to sporting action," a Ferrari statement said.
"The only thing necessary for him now is to undergo plastic surgery to repair the point of impact from the object in Hungaroring."
Ferrari said this procedure would be carried out in the next few days and, after a brief recovery period, Massa will be ready to slowly start regaining full fitness.
The team said: "Evidently the test results were received with great satisfaction at (team headquarters) Maranello in the perspective of having Felipe back at 100 percent next season."
Massa said he was delighted with these latest medical results.
"After the small operation I will at last be able to start exercises to get back in form.
"Then I'll be able to do some kart testing. As for Formula One? Everything in its own time. For now I'm only concentrating on getting back into physical shape, and that's already a major step forward."
(AFP via China Daily September 3, 2009)