F1 »

Brundle reckons Fisichella could have won Spa.


Former F1 star Martin Brundle believes that Giancarlo Fisichella could have gone one better than his second place in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, if only the Italian had made a better getaway at the race's early restart.

Having managed to qualify on pole position for Force India, the veteran managed to hold on to his advantage on the run to La Source, and then maintained the lead along the high-speed section from Eau Rouge to Les Combes, despite the presence of Kimi Raikkonen's KERS-equipped Ferrari in his wake. When the Finn then made a minor error at the chicane, catching out Robert Kubica in the process, Fisichella's lead looked even more secure.

However, behind the lead group, chaos erupted when Jenson Button was tipped into a spin by rookie Romain Grosjean, and the safety car was called to clear away the stranded cars of both the Briton and his French rival, as well as those of Lewis Hamilton and Jaime Alguersuari, who had been caught up in the aftermath of the original incident.

The reduced pace, which lasted through to the end of lap four, eliminated Fisichella's early cushion, although the Force India continued to lead into Eau Rouge in lap five, once the pack had been released for a second time. It was on the run from the top of the hill back to Les Combes, however, that the Italian was undone, as Raikkonen made the most of his KERS system to draft up to the rear of the leader and then pass him into the chicane.

From there, Fisichella may have been expected to wilt and fall away, but he kept tabs on the Ferrari, even lapping faster than it for much of the race, before coming home just 0.9secs adrift after 44 laps. It is because of this race-long performance that Brundle believes that, had he remained in front, Fisi could have been on the verge of an even more historic result for his tiny team.

"I honestly believe that, if Fisichella had been a little bit sharper on the restart after the first-lap safety car, and hadn't got caught by the power-boost KERS of the Ferrari up the hill, he would have waltzed off and won by several seconds," the BBC analyst claimed, "He should have backed the pack up at the restart and then bolted like a rabbit. He had a fundamentally fast package and he clearly wasn't overwhelmed to be at the front - he knows how to win a race, even if his memory is a bit rusty."

The Briton admitted that he was among those surprised by Force India's performance at Spa although, on reflection, perhaps he should not have been.

"Fisichella's pole position and second place finish at the Belgium Grand Prix isn't so much of a shock when you look at the basic ingredients and where Force India has been heading of late," he mused, "They've been gathering pace and threatening to do this for a while, but haven't delivered - in Germany last month, Adrian Sutil started seventh on the grid [and], in Spa, both drivers were near the top ten from the beginning of practice.

"This was the first race of the year requiring a medium-downforce set-up on the cars, and their package simply worked from the get-go with regard to grip, balance, and straight-line speed. Fitting new tyres and making small front-wing changes seemed to make them go ever faster.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vijay Mallya and Giancarlo Fisichella celebrate Force India`s historic second-place finish in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps [pic credit: Force India F1]
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari Test Driver; Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso; Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren; and Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber F1 Team, at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari Test Driver; Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso; Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren; Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber F1 Team; Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber F1 Team; Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari Development Driver, at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari Test Driver; Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso; Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren; Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber F1 Team; Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber F1 Team; Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari Development Driver, at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
(L to R): Natalie Pinkham (GBR) Sky Sports Presenter; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari Test Driver; Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso; Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren; Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber F1 Team; Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber F1 Team; Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari Development Driver; and Federica Masolin (ITA) Sky F1 Italia Presenter, at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team with Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari Test Driver and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso, at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
26.05.2017.
26.05.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
26.05.2017 - Sahara Force India F1 VJM010, detail
26.05.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
26.05.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
26.05.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
26.05.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
26.05.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
26.05.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


XHannahX

September 01, 2009 10:48 AM

I think that had the safety car not been brought out, Fisichello would have had a better chance at the win, he had built a substansial margin when Raikkonen got to 2nd and through out the whole race Fisichella's lap times were extremely close to Kimi's, sometimes faster. Also, didn't Force India have a problem with one of the tyres in Giancarlo's 1st pit stop which cost him a second or so? KERS made this race, without it I think Fisichella would have won reasonably easily, but everyone had the option of developing KERS so... Finishing in 2nd place, 1 second behind the Ferrari is an astonishing result though and he was, without a doubt, driver of the weekend! :D



© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.