Giancarlo Fisichella, Formula One’s second most experienced driver behind Rubens Barrichello, has apologised to his team for the error he made during his pitstop earlier today in the race. The incident happened on lap 20 as Fisichella entered the pitlane for his first stop. The Italian driver missed his garage and waiting mechanics and had to be manually pushed back in order for the Force India to get enough lock to turn into the box. Needless to say, Fisichella is suitably embarrassed.
I’m very disappointed with the mistake I made in the pitstop. I was just confused with last year as we were always in the last slot in the pitlane, so I just overshot and had to be pulled back into the pits.
I’m really sad about this as I think we could have got a good result. Giancarlo Fisichella.
It isn’t the first time that a driver has missed his garage, and Martin Brundled suggested in his commentary that this isn’t the first for Fisichella to do this either. The Force Indias looked quite racey today and undoubtedly the team may have been able to scrape a point, especially as Jarno Trulli was later given a time penalty for passing under the safety car.
Team mate Adrian Sutil also had a fairly competitive car and finished in tenth. Had the German pilot not got caught up in the first corner incident with Rubens Barrichello and Mark Webber, it is possible that Sutil could have gone on to score for the team. Unfortunately, Force India now look towards Malaysia and will be wanting to put this weekend behind them.
If someone had told me before the race that the stupid kerfuffle about race numbers at the start of the week was going to have any bearing on the race result, I’d probably have hit them. I still don’t think Brawn GP is a new team for race entry purposes, otherwise Force India would be new team #3 using Jordan’s old entry and the FIA would have had an extra $96m bond money to help it tide over the financial crisis. And more importantly for the purposes of this incident, Giancarlo’s assumption that he was still meant to be in the last garage in the pit lane would have been correct.
None of this changes the fact that he was in the wrong place and it is good of him to not duck the blame in any way.
Adrian would almost certainly have scored a point had he not been involved in the first-corner incident. Still, better to be involved in the first-corner incident than to be too slow to have any option…
Interestingly, I noted that Brawn were at the beginning of the pitlane, so presumably Ferrari were at the other end nearer the exit. Usually teams prefer to be at the start because the line into the box is better. I can only presume Ferrari wanted the end garages in order to get a better line out of the box. I know they can chose, but thought the decision was a little odd given the tradition.
That was Alianora’s 500th comment on BlogF1, by the way. 🙂
Giancarlo Fisichella’s career has been full of brain fades like this one. He just seems to do more dumb things than most any other driver. Back when he was at Renault he used to stall the car, park things sideway, jump the gun…
I think he should have retired a long time ago.
[…] Australia 2009: Fisichella Apologises For Pitstop Blunder – BlogF1"I’m very disappointed with the mistake I made in the pitstop. I was just confused with last year as we were always in the last slot in the pitlane, so I just overshot and had to be pulled back into the pits. I’m really sad about this as I think we could have got a good result." […]