Kimi Raikkonen won the Belgian Grand Prix for a fourth time as he scored his and Ferrari’s first victory of the season at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit – one he rates as his favourite. Force India had a memorable outing as well as Giancarlo Fisichella lost the lead of the race to a KERS-equipped Ferrari but nevertheless hounded him throughout the 44 laps and eventually finished 2nd – his and Force India’s first-ever podium finish and first-ever points – all 8 of them! Well done Fisico!
Third place went to the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel as he made up a place in the drivers’ championship, with one of his title contender finishing low down in the points, one outside of the points and one did not finish at all! BMW also had a great race as Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld finished 4th and 5th with the McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen in 6th and the Brawn of Rubens Barrichello in 7th. The Williams of Nico Rosberg took the final point in 8th position.
I missed the most exciting part of the race – the start, as I was thinking it was a 6:20 PM start instead of a 5:20 one and hence was busy with other chores! And what do you think happened on the laps I missed? Well, nothing much except that Championship leader Jenson Button alongwith Lewis Hamilton, Jaime Algersuari and Romain Grosjean were all involved in an opening lap melee and crashed out of the race! And the Safety Car was out and on the restart, Kimi Raikkonen used his KERS to good effect and jumped pole sitter Giancarlo Fisichella to wrest the lead of the race.
Giancarlo Fisichella scored Force India’s first-ever Pole position of their F1 career as he drove a superlative lap to take P1 at the Qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. It sure was a long time in coming and despite the steady improvements the team has been bringing into each of the last few races, no one expected a pole position for the team! Getting into Q2 and score points were their targets and they sure did better on the first one, can tomorrow’s race see them achieve their second target! I sure hope they do…
Toyota’s Jarno Trulli will start second on the grid as the Toyotas finally came good. So did the BMW’s who have Nick Heidfeld starting on P3. Rubens Barrichello will start fourth on the grid with Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen behind him. Timo Glock, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber & Nico Rosberg make up the top ten on the grid.
Q1 was a very good session for Force India as Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil were 1-2 atop the timesheets as the chequered flag fell and even though it was just the first session, it bode well for the team. A good way to impress the bosses at Ferrari since Fisichella’s being rumoured to fill-in for Felipe Massa for the last five races of the season! Luca Badoer again propped up the rear of the grid and to add insult to injury, he span out on his last flying lap and that was that! The ones to be relegated were Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Algersuari, Kazuki Nakajima, Romain Grosjean and Luca Badoer. Fernando Alonso escaped relegation by the skin of his teeth as he made a mistake on his flying lap and just scraped through another run just as the flag fell and so did Hamilton, who was teetering on 15th and must be thanking the heavens that no one went any faster!
Ex-Renault driver Ginacarlo Fisichella has been named as the second driver for the Force India F1 Team for the 2008 Season.
Italian Giancarlo Fisichella was confirmed as Force India Formula One team’s second driver for the 2008 season on Thursday.Fisichella, who drove for Renault last season, will team up with German driver Adrian Sutil, who was a rookie last year with the Spyker team that Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya bought into and renamed.
The team also named Fisichella’s compatriot Vitantonio Liuzzi as the test and reserve driver [Reuters]
Personally, I think it is a bad choice as Fisichella has had a sordid reputation as not being aggressive enough and has been generally looked down upon as “easy meat” by fellow-drivers. Remembre Kimi’s storming overtaking maneuver over him at Suzuka? And also his allowing Michael Schumacher to pass-by when Alonso was chasing him in third place? Force India could do with a real aggressive driver during their rookie season in F1. Agreed, the other choice – Ralf Schumacher – also is considered to be a spent force in F1. Given that, it might be the best they can manage. Of course, Fisichella’s got the experience under his belt and maybe that’s what Mallya wanted – an all-out fast and young driver in Adrian Sutil and an experienced campaigner in Fisichella!
All the best to the Force India Formula One team!!!