Formula 1

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

6 Mins read

The short pre-qualifying practice though, and Force India faced their first problem.

However, this problem did not come from a mechanical problem or even an accident.

It came from the Belgian wildlife.

While practicing the car Fisichella hit “an animal” which could not be identified after the impact. But in death the animal had given the team a hurdle, the new spec front wing on the VJM02 was damaged, and a move had to be made to the previous specification.

The new, or old, wing bolted on Fisichella completed the session in eighth, the only sign of any disadvantage being that for first time in the weekend he was topped by his junior teammate who finished third.

Then the serious business. Qualifying. And good news, of a sort. After evaluating the new front wing through the practice sessions both drivers elected to move back to the older design. There would be no disadvantage for Fisichella.

The time ticks over to one o'clock and the first competitive running starts. The first chance for Force India to really measure up to the other teams. Car after car cross the line setting time after time, with the order being shuffled all the time. Badoer spins his Ferrari, the very car Fisichella is linked with, and the yellow flags come out. Are both, or even either, of the car through to Q2.

Yes they are.

And Fisichella is fastest of all.

Force India have arrived.

Though in Q2 Sutil drops out, qualifying a creditable eleventh, barely six-hundredths away from the pace he would have needed to join his teammate in the final part of qualifying.

The final session. Who in the team thought they'd be involved in this, and not merely watching timing monitors for their competitors times?

A slow start to the session. Everyone does an installation lap before returning to the pits for new tyres ahead of a final frantic charge for the front row.

The times click ever higher. Raikkonen, then Heidfeld's BMW, then Trulli's Toyota takes pole. Cars carry on coming round, their times falling short of Trulli's. Then comes Fisichella.

Into the Bus Stop. Right. Left. On the power. Over the line.

Fastest!

Even the man in driving seat can't believe it. “Pole position?” he asks the team over the radio as he tours back to the pits. “Pole position, not bad,” comes the rather understated reply from the pit wall.

force3

2902 posts

About author
James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
Articles
Related posts
Formula 1

Reviewing the resurgence of McLaren, what’s to come in 2024

4 Mins read
All eyes were on McLaren F1 Team’s impressive turn-around in 2023, going from the back of the pack to consistent podiums over the course of the season. What can they achieve in the year to come?
Formula 1

James Allison Keen for Mercedes to Focus on Recovery Despite Recent Form Slide

3 Mins read
Mercedes need to focus on recovering their form and returning to winning ways rather than dwelling on the recent past, according to technical director James Allison.
FIA WECFormula 1

Shwartzman Bidding for AF Corse Hypercar Drive Alongside 2024 Ferrari Reserve Commitments

2 Mins read
Robert Shwartzman is hopeful of having a World Endurance Championship drive alongside his Formula 1 reserve driver role with Ferrari in 2024.