Ferrari to announce Badoer replacement on Thursday (GMM) With Felipe Massa still recovering from injury, Ferrari is to announce its plans for the Italian grand prix and beyond on Thursday.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said there are three alternatives for the cockpit of car number three for Monza: the struggling Luca Badoer, Giancarlo Fisichella, or BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica.
Badoer is considered the least likely of the trio to be given the nod, given his failure to be competitive in the seat at Valencia and again last weekend at Spa.
The candidatures of both Fisichella and Kubica, meanwhile, are fascinating.
Force India's Vijay Mallya is adamant the Roman Fisichella is staying put, given his pole position and podium in Belgium and the likelihood that the VJM02 will also be quick at the ultra high-speed Monza circuit.
However, it is reported that his team owes Ferrari more than 4 million euros dating back to the terminated engine supply agreement of last year, and that the Maranello based might tempt Mallya by offering to forgive the debt.
Ferrari might also have something to offer BMW-Sauber, who otherwise would not be interested in parting with the top Polish driver Kubica while trying to remain competitive in order to attract a team buyer for 2010.
A Sauber source told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "Why should we let Robert go to Ferrari? In our situation we need the best drivers possible."
According to rumors, however, releasing Kubica could guarantee the Hinwil based team a supply of customer Ferrari V8 engines for next year.
It is clear that, if Massa had his way, he would be the occupant of the red car at Monza, but his head injuries mean that he is out for the remainder of 2009.
"If it was up to him he would have been racing at Spa," the Brazilian's father Luiz Antonio is quoted as saying by Tuttosport, "but he also knows he needs to wait for the right moment.
"The ones who are going to decide are the doctors and Ferrari," Massa Snr added.