Remembering Force India's maiden podium in 2009 Belgian GP

Eight years ago, Force India claimed a shock podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix, nearly upsetting Ferrari for a maiden win. We reflect back at this classic race.

Remembering Force India's maiden podium in 2009 Belgian GP

During Saturday’s qualifying, Giancarlo Fisichella, to the surprise of the entire paddock, placed the VJM02 on pole position for the race.

While some were of the opinion that Fisichella’s lap was set on low fuel, it soon emerged that the Force India car was just as heavy as the other frontrunners.

On Sunday, the Italian was able to get away cleanly from pole position, but an early safety car negated his advantage.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who was able to enjoy a straightline speed advantage thanks to the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), came breathing down the neck of Fischella, eventually passing him at Le Combes on lap 5.

But the Force India driver shadowed the Finn right till the end of the race, finishing just six tenths behind in second place.

It was Force India’s first ever points finish, the Silverstone-based team having struggled for pace since their takeover for Spyker.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team
1/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02
2/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Adrian Sutil, Force India F1 Team

Adrian Sutil, Force India F1 Team
3/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02
4/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02, Pole Position

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02, Pole Position
5/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02, Pole Position

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, VJM-02, Pole Position
6/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Managing Director, Force India F1, celebrate pole position

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Managing Director, Force India F1, celebrate pole position
7/25

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team
8/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Start of the race with Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, Jarno Trulli, Toyota F1 Team, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1 Team

Start of the race with Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, Jarno Trulli, Toyota F1 Team, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1 Team
9/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Start of the race with Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, Jarno Trulli, Toyota F1 Team, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1 Team

Start of the race with Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, Jarno Trulli, Toyota F1 Team, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1 Team
10/25

Photo by: XPB Images

The crashed car of Jenson Button, BrawnGP, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, Jaime Alguersuari, Scuderia Toro Rosso

The crashed car of Jenson Button, BrawnGP, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, Jaime Alguersuari, Scuderia Toro Rosso
11/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes
12/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Jenson Button, Brawn GP BGP001 Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-24 Mercedes after their collision at Les Combes on the first lap of the race

Jenson Button, Brawn GP BGP001 Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-24 Mercedes after their collision at Les Combes on the first lap of the race
13/25

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Safety Car after first laps crash

Safety Car after first laps crash
14/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F60

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F60
15/25

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F60

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F60
16/25

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari and Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team

Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari and Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team
17/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, heads back out after a stop

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes, heads back out after a stop
18/25

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Winner, 1st, Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari

Winner, 1st, Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari
19/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes celebrates as he crosses the line to finish second

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes celebrates as he crosses the line to finish second
20/25

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Podium: second place Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes

Podium: second place Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India VJM02 Mercedes
21/25

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari
22/25

Photo by: XPB Images

l-r, 2nd, Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, 1st, Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing and Stefano Domenicali, Scuderia Ferrari, Sporting Director

l-r, 2nd, Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team, 1st, Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing and Stefano Domenicali, Scuderia Ferrari, Sporting Director
23/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Force India Team celebration, Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team and Vijay Mallya Force India F1 Team Owner

Force India Team celebration, Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team and Vijay Mallya Force India F1 Team Owner
24/25

Photo by: XPB Images

Force India Team celebration, Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team and Vijay Mallya Force India F1 Team Owner

Force India Team celebration, Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India F1 Team and Vijay Mallya Force India F1 Team Owner
25/25

Photo by: XPB Images

shares
comments
The V10 alarm clock that paved the way for the F1 two-seater plan

Previous article

The V10 alarm clock that paved the way for the F1 two-seater plan

Next article

Motorsport Debrief: McLaren-Honda saga takes a twist

Motorsport Debrief: McLaren-Honda saga takes a twist
Load comments
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021