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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shock pole for Fisichella

Giancarlo Fisichella put his Force India on pole for the Belgian Grand Prix Saturday in a topsy-turvy session at Spa.


F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying

Toyota's Jarno Trulli starts next to him in an all-Italian-veteran front row. Nick Heidfeld, who had BMW fans buzzing after his top of the sheets performance in morning practice, starts third in the BMW Sauber.

If you are looking for the usual suspects – the title contenders – Rubens Barrichello heads that list in fourth in the Brawn. Teammate and points leader Jenson Button is a woeful 14th, the Briton complaining about the rear end stepping out.

The Red Bulls, led by Sebastian Vettel, are eighth and ninth.

In between, from fifth through seventh, Robert Kubica in the second BMW Sauber, Kimi Raikonen's Ferrari, and Timo Glock in the second Toyota. Nico Rosberg rounded out the top ten.

While Q1 provided some drama for Lewis Hamilton and Button, those cut weren't surprising: The Toro Rossos, Kazuki Nakajima, Romain Grosjean and the struggling Luca Badoer.

It was Q2 which held the surprises, with a trio of stars getting the ax -- Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

But it is clearly something special for one of F1's most like veterans to give Force India its maiden pole at one of the sport's most historic tracks.

"It feels just great, like a dream. I am so happy for myself, for the team, for the mechanics, the engineers, who have done a fantastic job," said Fisichella, who gave journalists another opportunity to say he was very 'appy.

And who can blame him? He spent much of his time earlier in the weekend dodging rumors he was going to suit up for Ferrari. Then in practice, he hit a rabbit. His engineer told him it was a lucky one. Not sure the rabbit agrees, but Fisi seemed to make out alright.

Grid and pre-race weights
  1. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 648kg
  2. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 656.5
  3. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 655
  4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 644.5
  5. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 649
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 655
  7. Timo Glock, Toyota, 648.5
  8. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 662.5
  9. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 658
  10. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 670
  11. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 678.5
  12. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 693.5
  13. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 684.4
  14. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 694.2
  15. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 697
  16. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 685
  17. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 704.5
  18. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 706.1
  19. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 704.7
  20. Luca Badoer, Ferrari, 691.5

Missed it? It was crazy! Check out Belgian GP qualifying as it happened

Post-qualifying press conference - Belgium

Qualifying - selected team and driver quotes

Saturday weather update - no more rain expected

GP2 notes
  • Alvaro Parent won today's GP2 race for Ocean Racing Technology.
  • A Trident mechanic is in an induced coma after he was struck in the head with a wheel gun in the pitlane.
  • Coloni Motorsport is missing the Spa weekend after its cars were impounded over a legal dispute.
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