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Force India in shock after first points and podium
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Force India owner Vijay Mallya said his team were in shock on Sunday after storming the Belgian Grand Prix podium for their first points in F1.

"This is a bit of a state of shock actually. Every TV, every channel; it's going crazy in India," he said.

It was more of a bittersweet moment for Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella, who made the big breakthrough with a stunning second place from pole position. He finished 0.9 seconds behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen after an early safety car interlude allowed the Finn to close up and then use his car's KERS energy recovery boost button to power past.

"Before we came here ... to finish eighth would have been fantastic," said Fisichella, whose last podium finish was with Renault in 2006.

Mallya said he was still struggling to realize what his team had achieved after 29 races without a point in a car that was struggling at the back a few months ago.

The aviation and liquor tycoon, who styles himself as India's "King of Good Times", was looking forward to downing one of his cold beers in celebration.

"We are still a small team but obviously we are a good enough team to be on the podium and score some points so obviously I am very happy," he said. "I think ever since Australia it's fair to say that we haven't been the laggards at the back. We've been a good midfield team and getting better all the time."

Mallya had previously set his team a target of fighting for points this year and then being in a position to fight for a podium finish by the time of the first Indian Grand Prix scheduled for 2011.

(Reuters via China Daily September 1, 2009)

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