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Rabbit’s foot brings Fisi luck and first pole for Force India
Rabbit’s foot brings Fisi luck and first pole for Force India
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Aug 2009   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  45 comments

Today was a completely extraordinary qualifying session with many of the biggest names in F1 failing to make the cut for the top ten shootout and Giancarlo Fisichella giving Force India, F1’s lowest budget team, it’s first pole position. Fisi acknowledged that perhaps the rabbit he hit in the morning session, which broke his front wing, may have brought him luck!
Picture 26

Jarno Trulli was second with BMW’s Nick Heidfeld third.

Of the the main title rivals, Rubens Barrichello is the best placed in fourth place, while his team mate and title leader Jenson Button was only 14th.

It was a day which summed up the 2009 season, where even the smartest engineers cannot understand why some cars are fast one day and slow the next; for sure it is to do with the Bridgestone tyres and how the compounds on a certain car on a certain day. Today the harder tyre was the fastest one and in the final part of the session we saw several drivers who had gone out on softs, aborting their first run and coming into the pits for hards.

The fastest car here this weekend over the long runs is the Red Bull. Vettel is 8th, Webber ninth and we will see how much fuel they are all carrying. They will be strong in the race, but so will Trulli. The Toyota lapped yesterday in the mid 1m 48s on long runs so it is as fast ans anything except the Red Bull. But Red Bull had engine worries today with Webber forced to change engine after the morning session.

Lewis Hamilton who was on pole in Valencia, could manage only 12th today.

For the man who is widely tipped to drive the second Ferrari at Monza and beyond, this was an amazing moment to show what he can do. Although maybe now he may feel he’s better off staying at Force India! Fisi was at pains to point out that so far he has had no contact with the Ferrari team. That may change now. “It’s a dream to drive for Ferrari, especially for an Italian driver. So far it is still a dream. But considering the result of today I’ve got to think about whether they are going to call me!” he said.

Luca Badoer, who is currently in the second Ferrari, had another disappointing day. He was again last, 1.5 seconds off the pace of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen. To compound his misery he crashed, damaging the rear left suspension. This surely spells the end of his tenure of this prestigious race seat.

Fisi’s pole was not out of the blue, in the context of the way the afternoon went. He and Sutil were fast all weekend and he was fast in the second part of qualifying, which gave the team confidence to believe that if they went aggressive on the fuel strategy in Q3 they could get a really eye catching result. And so it proved.

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Looks like your going without food for a while Mr E.


You sure?

There are 17 heavier cars on the grid. that to me makes hime rather light.

Or am I wrong?


This year’s rules may not have had the desired impact on overtaking but the unintended side effect of the different design concepts (and developments) working at varying levels on disparate tracks is excellent.


Good old Fisi, fantastic!

But he should be careful about the future, the Force India may be a better can then the Ferrari.

Has Eddie Jordan nicked the motor home in lieu of rent, or blocked it in again?


I can’t help but think that Fisi’s pole has been engineered to get him to a Ferrari until Massa comes back.

It’s a win-win situation for all concerned – Fisi gets his dream drive in his home race, Force India gets good coverage with the pole today and get a chance to run Liuzzi for the rest of the season to evaluate him for next year.


Engineered by whom ? The rest of the grid ? What nonsense.


Maybe – but Force India can’t get performance out of the car that isn’t there. Regardless of the result in Q3, Fisi got into the top ten on merit.

Andrew Halliday

An amazing lap by Fisi, it makes me wonder if he’s been sleeping all year and actually capable of this earlier on! A performance like this could even earn him one more year in F1…?

James, with the uncertainty of how long it will take for Massa to recover and the likelihood of Ferrari being able to run a third car at every race not being too high, what do you think of this idea: Ferrari, who’ve had it with Kimi, pay him off for the rest of his contract leaving an empty seat for next year. Alonso will be in one car, Schumacher in the other for one season only. This gives Massa the chance to have a sabbatical to fully recover and gives Schumacher the opportunity of a full season in F1 without ‘stealing’ the seat of his good friend Felipe…..


No I think Massa will be back next year, but perhaps not this year. Schuey will only do the odd race, if the third car thing happens


James- if this third car thing happens if MS does the odd race, do you think this could tie in with a Young driver programme?


Could do, I guess.


Does this has something do with aerodynamics?

If you look at Force India, Toyota and BMW aerodynamics, they look pretty much the same, with their straight forward nose, maybe this suits well with Spa characteristics.

Not seen fuel loads yet, but I think Trulli and Kimi may have chance to win.


Bang on, yes it does


I wish we still had Hockenheim’s cannonball run through the forest. With the Tilke-ification of F1 circuits we’ve lost variation of track characteristics that allowed odd ball results. All the poky corners are great for sponsors but that is not my concern. Ok, call in an architect to design the grandstands and pit complex, but we’d do better to have tracks designed by a six year old after a rainy weekend of binge slot car racing in their living room.

Belgium has and is the best track since I’ve been watching (19 years). I died a little when they re-profiled the bus stop to la source section.


“I think I am one of the few people I know who really misses the A1 Ring (prove me wrong people)”

Picturesque, gradient, two or three overtaking opportunities, tricky; yeah, I miss the A1-Ring – but not as much as the original Osterreichring.


I agree. Too much Tilke going about. A lot of character has been lost. I loved some of the circuits we have lost. I think I am one of the few people I know who really misses the A1 Ring (prove me wrong people) and the character that is absent from Herman’s work needs to be brought back to the table.


Absolutely. If all the tracks are the same, the game is pointless. The test needs to be over as great a variety of layouts, temperatures and conditions as possible.


Unbelievable… If I had known I definitely would have cut my sleep short to see this…


Another fake pole farce, no poles during the time of this qualifying format should count towards the stats. The sooner max is gone the better.

Pole should be about the quickest driver/car not who can manipulate the fuel loads, Great work from fisi and team but if he is not light I will not eat for a week and I LOVE my food.

In the days of the schumi bore the only entertainment was in qualifying with shumi and Montoya but NOOOOO max and his idiots had to go and ruin it along with the points system. I’m really struggling to enjoy F1 anymore, I loved this sport and have not missed a live race in 15 years (I’m 31) I been tested to the limit. Still can’t wait to see the race when I go to Singapore something tells me the race will not be the highlight of the trip.

Stand down Max and Gordon Brown.

Regards P


What’s Gordon got to do with it ???


Gordon Brown and Max are two stubborn unwanted persons who are ruining the respective organisations. Max who has made this sport a total bore. (I will give credit to his work of safety which has been a remarkable success) remember when in Q3(i think) they drove round to burn off fuel? who in power would allow such a waste? and unnecessary expense while pushing cost cutting? most of the over taking comes from pits due to refuelling, so what have they done? band refuelling, this would of been fine if the cars could overtake, but they still have the same trouble as before. While this season has been great regards the different teams at the front, the racing still has been no more exciting than the past 3 years which by many would of said it was a boring procession. last year was much better racing just a shame (in my opinion) Massa didnt win. I will leave the points system to another post. 🙂

Max only gave a date to stand down after causing the near collapse of F1.

Gordon wont until he has caused the near collapse of labour and England.

This is my option and I’m sure many of the readers of this excellent blog will not agree with a single word I have wrote. I’m sure many will agree. I know all my friends certainly do.

I am also glad I haven’t got to go with out food for a week.

I like racing, simple un interfered racing.


There’s no such thing an uninterfered racing, or uninterfered sport in general. Every competition has rules. Imagine playing “uninterfered cricket”. There’d be nothing to talk about.

You could argue that F1 has the wrong rules, and many would agree with you, but it’s a F1 disease which goes back 20 years. It didn’t start yesterday. And some things are good – qualy now is fantastic.

Having said that, I would guess most of us on here agree about Max. Good riddance. But please go sound off about Gordon, if you must, someplace else, with or without food.


Was Fisichella’s speed in Q2 ‘fake’ as well?


Does Q2 count as pole? no!

Is fisi on pole after fuel correction? No!

Is it a fake pole? yes!

If fisi made pole fuel corrected I would of been “very appy”


Following your viewpoint, every pole that does not match the fuel-corrected result is ‘fake’. By logical progression, therefore, absolutely every GP result under this particular set of rules is also ‘fake’ because the starting grid order has been incorrect to some degree at the start of every race.

An argument could also be made that Hamilton and Raikkonen have only won GPs this year because of KERS and that that, too, is ‘fake’; or that some WDC results are ‘fake’ because of different points systems in place at different times.

Granted, I look forward to the return of lightweight, absolute pace qualifying next year but the fact remains that events and statistics are won by doing the best job within the rules; and strategy is a fundamental aspect of modern F1.




“For the man who is widely tipped to drive the second Ferrari at Monza and beyond, this was an amazing moment to show what he can do.”

Yes how ‘convenient’!


Is Vettel going to get into trouble for blocking Badoer, immediately before the Ferrari driver’s accident?

Badoer was on a hot lap, Vettel wasn’t and from what I saw of the replays on TV he got in Badoer’s way in a manner not seen since Sutil/Webber in Bahrain.


Wasn’t it Webber?


Yeah, it seems the stewards decided to take no action. It was investigated after qualifying.

Wonder if the outcome would’ve been different if Badoer hadn’t spun.


Now whats the betting Fisi crashes into Trulli into corner one and ruins a great race in prospect! 🙂 having been use to scratching around in midfield, and the thoughts of a Ferrari fantasy clouding his corner one judgements.

Regardless the season just gets better and better, and listening to commentators try and make out that they thought it would come out like that just sent them way down in my respect list.


Absolutely crazy!!! I hope he goes on to win tomorrow 🙂 I sincerely want the Indian national Anthem to be played on the podium. Good speed to fisi & Force India.


Amen brother!!!! Im singing it whether Force India wins the race or not 😉


What on earth are red bull doing? With button qualifying badly they had an incredible chance to do some damage to buttons points lead. 8th and 9th? please!


Is the rabbit ok???????


Yes – a little gritty, but really quite delicious.


Fisi, you’re great.

Please, stay on board for next year. 36 is not old.

Cheers from Spain.



Nice job Fisi ! Got to convert into result tomorrow though, as the other Italian is also fighting for the same drive ?


James…. What the **** is going on?? Absolutely loving it, but WOW! As a proud Aussie, I’m really disappointed Webber hasn’t capitalised once again – if you want to win a World Championship surely these are the weekends you need to step it up?


The car is heavy, as you’d expect with Button and both KERS McLarens out in Q2, so it’s far from over yet.


Epic stuff, feel like a little boy on xmas eve, I want to go to sleep now and wake up for the gridwalk. Fisi did a stellar job. Was utterly bemused by Button to be honest. I really am disapointed in him and his interview afterwards spoke volumes. Going to be a total bunfight into La Source with KERS cars flying all over the shop. Tense times in one of the Brawn cockpits and some desperate chops across the track for the Force India. I am praying he keeps his wing and bags a top 6 spot by the chequered flag!


Force India on the Pole? Now there’s a surprise… This is surely the strangest F1 season ever.


James, whats these rumours about Force India, the Motorhome and Kingfisher Airlines? What do you know?

Ive tried looking it up but unfortunately i am not fluent in German, of which many of the articles are written in.


The website of a respected motoring weekly reported at the Nurburgring that there had been a payment dispute between Force India and the presumably German manufacturer of its motorhome over quality issues. There was apparently a failed attempt at seizing the structure.

Whether its absence from Spa is connected or simply a matter of logistics following Valencia is anyone’s guess but I do not recall reading anywhere that the team’s budget was ever the issue.

Whatever, the ostentatious thing adds nothing to the racing, so congratulations to Fisichella and here’s to a fascinating GP on the best track in the world.


Lot of rumours around but I can’t tell what’s the truth and the illusion there

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