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Blwe_torch

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Fisichella on pole for Belgian Grand Prix
« on: August 29, 2009, 01:41:54 PM »

Fisichella on pole for Belgian Grand Prix

AFP 29 August 2009, 06:46pm IST   

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS: Italian veteran Giancarlo Fisichella produced the biggest qualifying shock of the season on Saturday when he delivered Force

India's first-ever pole position in a stunning qualifying session for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Fisichella took his first pole since Malaysia 2006, when he was at then-frontrunners Renault, to put a team that has yet to score a point in 29 races at the front of the starting grid.

It was only the fourth pole of his career.

Fisichella, 36, clocked his best time in the final five minutes of a tense session that produced several shocks including both world championship leader Jenson Button of Brawn GP and defending champion Lewis Hamilton of McLaren failing to make it into the top ten.

Fisichella outpaced fellow-Italian Jarno Trulli of Toyota, who was second, ahead of third-placed German Nick Heidfeld of BMW Sauber and Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello of Brawn GP, who was fourth.

Polish driver Robert Kubica was fifth for BMW ahead of Germans Timo Glock and Sebastian Vettel, for Toyota and Red Bull respectively, with Australian Mark Webber ninth in the second Red Bull and German Nico Rosberg 10th for Williams.

It was an extraordinary conclusion to a crazy session run in unpredictable conditions with most teams appearing to be left scratching their heads over the performances.

On another day of capricious-looking weather in the Belgian Ardennes, Q1 produced a late drama with Webber escaping an early cut in the final minutes. The Australian, wearing a black armband in honour of compatriot Frank Gardner who died earlier on Saturday, managed a fast lap to climb to second and out of trouble.

The men eliminated were, predictably, Italian veteran Luca Badoer of Ferrari, French rookie Romain Grosjean of Renault, Japanese Kazuki Nakajima of Williams, Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari of Toro Rosso and his team-mate Swiss Sebastien Bourdais.

The drama continued in the second mini-session with unexpected casualties as Hamilton, Alonso and Button all failed to make into the top ten shootout.

The defending champion was arguably the biggest surprise among these failures after his good performance on Friday.

All again left their best runs late and this resulted in German Adrian Sutil, for Force India, being knocked out in 11th place followed by Hamilton in his McLaren, Alonso of Renault, Button for Brawn and Hamilton's McLaren team-mate Finn Heikki Kovalainen.

This left a strange-looking top ten with Trulli on top ahead of Kubica. Third was taken by Vettel.

"Not good enough, I'm afraid, P13." said the message to Button from the Brawn GP pit-wall.

A forlorn Button, still leading the title race by 18 points ahead of his Brawn team-mate Barrichello, looked as if his control of the run-in and title prospects themselves had been damaged.

Once again, it meant the Brawn team were relying on Barrichello to produce a performance to deny the Red Bulls taking over again as the top ten delayed their fastest laps for the closing minutes of the shootout.

Qualifying (Q3) times:

1. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India-Mercedes 1:46.308
2. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota 1:46.395
3. Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber 1:46.500
4. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn-Mercedes 1:46.513
5. Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber 1:46.586
6. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:46.633
7. Timo Glock (GER) Toyota 1:46.677
8. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull-Renault 1:46.761
9. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:46.788
10. Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams-Toyota 1:47.362.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/racing/top-stories/Fisichella-on-pole-for-Belgian-Grand-Prix/articleshow/4948820.cms

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Blwe_torch

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Re: Fisichella on pole for Belgian Grand Prix
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 12:46:42 AM »

Fisichella makes India proud in Belgium
REUTERS 30 August 2009, 02:16am IST

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS: Italian Giancarlo Fisichella made India proud at the Belgian Grand Prix

on Saturday.

"It feels great, like a dream," said the 36-year-old Roman, who described his Force India team's first ever pole position as one of the most satisfying moments of his long Formula One career.

"What a result. I am now not only looking for points but for more. We've got this far and we need to finish the job."

Vijay Mallya, the aviation and liquor mogul whose team have yet to score a point in 29 starts, was as stunned as anyone in the Spa paddock by what his driver had achieved.

"I am so proud of Giancarlo, the team in the garage and the factory and also for the entire Indian nation," he said. "There is nothing more to say. We've done both ourselves and the country proud."

Surprising as it was, with Fisichella's previous best qualifying this season a 13th place in Monaco, it was no mere fluke.

Fisichella was fastest in the first part of qualifying and fourth in the second when cars are carrying similar fuel loads.

The Mercedes-powered Force India, with a new aerodynamic upgrade introduced at the last race in Valencia, has genuine pace - particularly at a fast and flowing circuit like Spa - and Fisichella made the most of it.

"I think yesterday when we were still trying to figure out the balance of the car, it was beyond our wildest dreams to be honest," Force India chief operations office Simon Roberts said.

"But this morning we'd been through all the data and the engineers got the car balanced very quickly and 'Fisi' looked quick.

"He had the drive of his life really and certainly of this season. That was fantastic. it is still sinking in. Whatever his motivation, he delivered."

"We didn't set out today to steal the headlines, we just put a sensible amount of fuel in the car and did a great lap. 'Fisi' was quick all day today."

Sam Michael, technical director of rivals Williams, agreed that the pole was well-earned and expected Force India to be just as quick when the teams get to Monza for next month's Italian Grand Prix.

He dismissed any suggestion that Fisichella was putting on a show in a bid to replace his compatriot Luca Badoer as Ferrari's stand-in for injured Brazilian Felipe Massa.

"No matter what will-power they (the drivers) have got, they can't overpower the laws of physics," he said.

"It's not a lucky pole."
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/SPORTS/Racing/Top-Stories/Fisichella-makes-India-proud-in-Belgium/articleshow/4949899.cms

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Blwe_torch

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Re: Fisichella on pole for Belgian Grand Prix
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 05:01:28 AM »

Mallya still not ready to speculate on points
PTI 29 August 2009, 09:03pm IST

NEW DELHI: No body is happier than Vijay Mallya after Giancarlo Fisichella's shock pole position in Belgian Grand Prix but the Force India

chairman still does not want to talk about points lest it puts the driver under unnecessary pressure in Sunday's race.

Talking from Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, where Fisichella raised quite a few eyebrows with his stunning pole position, Mallya conceded it was an absolutely fairytale stuff but was not ready to talk about points.

"Let me make it clear, we are starting from the pole position but at the end of the day, it's not right to speculate. I think getting the pole position is a huge achievement in itself. I'm happy for the team and the members," he said.

Putting the feat in perspective, Mallya said, "Giancarlo did a brilliant job. To get the pole position in Spa, considered one of the most challenging circuits is a huge thing and I'm extremely happy for the team and the fans."

Mallya said even Adrian Sutil, who will start 11th tomorrow, could have qualified better but for the mid-field traffic.

"Adrian did a good job but was unlucky not to qualify for Q3 (third qualifying session). He missed it by two hundredth of a second because of the mid-field traffic. Otherwise, he would have started closer than 11th," Mallya, also the team principal, said.

Despite Force India failing to get its maiden F1 points yet, Mallya pointed out how the team has improved over the last few months.

"We had enough critics who did not realise that when I bought the team towards the end of 2007, it was basically a Spykar car which raced in 2008. Even in 2006 and 2007, it was basically the back marker.

"We worked on the car and in 2009, we moved up to the mid-field. In Valencia, we introduced an aero upgrade and had both the cars inside top 12, ahead of some fancied cars. Now we are here when we have grabbed the pole position ahead of the Ferraris, Brawns, McLarens and BMWs," he added.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/SPORTS/Racing/Top-Stories/Mallya-still-not-ready-to-speculate-on-points/articleshow/4949080.cms


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Blwe_torch

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Re: Fisichella on pole for Belgian Grand Prix
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2009, 12:16:57 PM »

Mallya scotches Fisichella's Ferrari 'rumours'
PTI 29 August 2009, 09:06pm IST

NEW DELHI: Force India chairman Vijay Mallya on Saturday dismissed reports that his team's Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella is all set to join Ferrari as a replacement for Luca Badoer.

"Everybody here is asking me the same question," Mallya said from Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium where Fisichella pulled off the shock of the season by clinching the pole position for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix.

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

Formula One paddock, however, is abuzz with claims that the 36-year-old Italian might replace Badoer, himself a replacement for Felipe Mass, who is out of action since his near-fatal crash in Hungary.

Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Fisichella had admitted that he would love to race for Ferrari, something every Italian drivers considers a dream.

F1 legend Michael Schumacher was set to come out of his retirement to replace Massa before neck injuries botched his comeback and Badoer was named as replacement.

The Italian youngster, however, has been clearly struggling since then and Fisichella was touted as his possible replacement.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/SPORTS/Racing/Top-Stories/Mallya-scotches-Fisichellas-Ferrari-rumours/articleshow/4949085.cms
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