Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01): 11th +42.636secs Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04): 2nd +0.939secs 30 August 2009 - Giancarlo Fisichella has finished a nail-biting Belgian Grand Prix in second position - just one second from first...
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01):
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04):
30 August 2009 - Giancarlo Fisichella has finished a nail-biting Belgian Grand Prix in second position - just one second from first place - marking the Force India Formula One Team's first-ever World Championship points. The eight points now bring Force India to ninth position in the constructors' championship and Giancarlo to 14th in the drivers'.
Giancarlo started from pole position, making an excellent start to lead the field through the first hairpin turn and round the first lap. An accident further down the field called for a safety car to be deployed and, despite strong defence on the restart he was unable to hold off the KERS-equipped Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Giancarlo then matched Kimi's lap times lap after lap until they pitted on exactly the same lap (lap 14). Rejoining just metres from Kimi, Giancarlo continued to shadow the Ferrari until his second stop, which again came on the same lap (lap 31). Giancarlo was generally quicker than the Ferrari but Kimi's use of KERS kept him ahead, leaving Giancarlo just 0.939secs away from scoring an unprecedented win.
Adrian Sutil had started from 11th position but was unfortunately a victim of a start line accident that cost him his front wing. The German was forced to pit and rejoined far down the field. A strategy adjustment to a one-stopper gave him opportunity to move to 9th position, pulling off some spectacular overtaking maneouvres in the process. He again finished a strong race within sight of the points in 11th position.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
It was a great weekend for the team, particularly for Giancarlo. He did a great race today, second position, which is a big achievement for everyone. We have clearly made a very good step and I think today anything was possible and we can look forward to the next race. Personally I am a little disappointed as someone crashed into me at the first corner and the race was over at that point. I think it was Alonso, who went straight into my rear and turned me around and destroyed my front wing. In the end it was disappointing as the car had the speed and I tried to get back in the race but it was frustrating. I am still very happy with the car and for the team as second place is still a very good position. I hope I can get a similar result in Monza.
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
It's been another great day and it was an amazing result today. Before coming to Spa if you had asked all the team if we would have been happy to finish eighth we would have said it was a fantastic result but second is a dream, just great. Actually if I can be honest I am a little disappointed as I felt we could have won the race. I was unlucky with the safety car when Kimi came past me at the restart and overtook me with the KERS. Actually behind him I was quicker but with the KERS I couldn't get past as it was impossible to be quick on the long straight. But we can't take it away from the fantastic result, both at the track and in the factory to get this result. After yesterday I was pretty confident to score points, it's positive for the championship and for the coming races. A big thank you to everyone.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
What a result. I am so proud of this race, which will ultimately go down in the history books as India's first-ever World Championship points. It's been a fantastic Saturday, fantastic race and to get our first podium and championship points is just unbelievable. We've worked so very hard to get this with a solid plan of upgrades coming through on the factory. Giancarlo drove a truly outstanding race. We can all be so proud of the entire effort.
-credit: force india