He chased Kimi Raikkonen around every lap at Spa-Francorchamps, rarely more than a couple of seconds behind. With Raikkonen’s temporary team mate Luca Badoer enduring a second dire race, speculation is rife Fisichella will be a Ferrari driver at Monza.
Fisichella kept his lead from pole position at the start while Raikkonen used his KERS – and plenty of the tarmac apron at the first corner – to get a run past Robert Kubica into second.
The Force India driver might well have stayed ahead of Raikkonen if the safety car hadn’t been scrambled following the first lap crash. But on the restart Fisichella was powerless to resist Raikkonen’s KERS-powered attacks and lost the lead on the run to Les Combes.
Raikkonen was never out of Fisichella’s sights all race long – the pair even pitted on the same lap twice. An extra lap of fuel at his first stop could have been enough to get Fisichella the lead – but even so what the team achieved was remarkable enough.
Fisichella has driven well this year, particularly at Monte-Carlo where he was ninth and only a few seconds away from scoring Force India’s first point.
With that milestone finally achieved – and their first podium to boot – can they go one place better at Monza?
The result lifts Force India from last in the constructors’ championship to ninth ahead of Toro Rosso. It means they’re in line to earn a lot more money at the end of the season, a precious lifeline for the cash-strapped team.
- Belgian Grand Prix race result
- F1 championship points after Belgium
- Belgian Grand Prix start crash (Video)
- Force India celebrate after Giancarlo Fisichella takes pole position
- Force India getting closer to first points
Images (C) Force India F1 Team