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Fisichella, Force India notch up historic Spa pole

Giancarlo Fisichella took a shock pole position for Force India today in qualifying for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, the twelfth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.

Fisichella was on the pace throughout in his Mercedes-powered VJM-02 and gave an early indication of both his and the team's potential when he topped the times in Q1 with a 1 minute 45.102 seconds, 0.038s up on the Toyota of Jarno Trulli.

He then matched that pace in Q2 when he was fourth best, just 0.164 seconds off the top time, to easily progress to the top-ten shoot-out.

Fisichella wasn't finished there though, and late in the ten minute third phase, put in a 1 minute 46.308 second lap, which was good enough to give him P1 - his fourth pole position at the pinnacle of the sport.

It was a remarkable result, especially given Force India have yet to even score a point, and while the Silverstone-based outfit has shown glimpses of potential - and had been strong in practice - nobody would have predicted this.

Trulli meanwhile was second for Toyota, only 0.087 seconds slower, closely followed by the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld.

European Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello came in fourth for Brawn, sandwiched between the BMW's, as Robert Kubica rounded out the top five, to give Mario Theissen's squad easily its best Q result of the season.

Further down the order, Kimi Raikkonen took sixth for Ferrari, three tenths or so off Fisichella, followed by Timo Glock's Toyota and the Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Nico Rosberg was tenth, having just scraped through into Q3, 0.072 seconds up Adrian Sutil, in the second Force India.

The big scalp in Q2 though was Jenson Button and the current championship leader continues to be outperformed by his team-mate, Rubens Barrichello – a complete reversal to earlier in the year. Button was four tenths slower than Barrichello and complained that he just couldn't find the grip. The Englishman will line-up 14th and he will now have his work cut out on Sunday if he is salvage some points. Whatever happens tomorrow, his 18-point lead is likely to take a big hit.

Fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton also went out in the second session and will start 12th, behind Sutil and one spot in front of double world champion, Fernando Alonso. McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen was the other casualty in Q2 and he had to settle for 15th.




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JJ - Unregistered

August 29, 2009 4:47 PM

I think Raikkonen has a good chance tomorrow. With his KERS he can be right at the front early on, either already at the start or using it uphill through Eau Rouge. I also think that Ferrari would have known anticipated he can overtake tomorrow, especially with both McLarens out in Q2, so that his grid position was ultimately not the most important thing today and they let him go on a heavy fuel load. If he can stick with the others through section 2 tomorrow, I see Raikkonen as the winner tomorrow. But hell, if any of the top7 win tomorrow it will be a great shock result, except for Rubens, but if he wins that will spice up the championship so it couldn't be better. Spa, just fantastic.



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