In the midst of new regulations, the 2009 season started as a snore. Ross Brawn’s new racing team had dominated the field with Jenson Button winning 6 out of the first 7 races of the season and the championship looked all but locked up by mid-season. However, this was still and age of rapid development in Formula One and the tables would be turned by the Belgian Grand Prix on August 30.
Coming into the race Button had been off the podium for 4 consecutive races, and the Red Bulls had come back into their usual form with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel with a win each during that span. The season had come alive and it was looking like we would be treated to a great battle of the giants in the Mountains of Belgium.
Enter the rain, and enter Giancarlo Fisichella…
For the days leading up to qualifying it characteristically rained, as the drivers tip-toed through the motions around an unpredictable track. By the time qualifying came around there had been very little meaningful running and the track was still slick. Jenson Button was knocked out in Q2 and it was up to a lone Rubens Barrichello to fend off the Red Bulls in Q3. He was able to stay in of the Red Bulls, but the hero of the day would be a Force India drive by Giancarlo Fisichella to deliver their first and only Pole Position ever.
Ride along with this video below. This is one of my favorite in-car videos ever. Not only because it’s Spa, but because his steady hands on an unstable track way beyond the limits of car remind me what this sport is.
This would serve as not only a step up for Force India, but would also lead Giancarlo Fisichella to his dream job at Ferrari where he would replace Luca Badoer (who had replace Felipe Massa) in his Swan Song from Formula One. A fitting finish for a fine Italian driver.