Did Brawn deliberately give Barrichello a poor strategy to let Button win?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Barrichello leads at the start - but he lost it on strategy later on
Barrichello leads at the start - but he lost it on strategy later on

Rubens Barrichello made an excellent start to take the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix from third on the grid.

With more fuel on board than second-placed Jenson Button, and overtaking very difficult at the Circuit de Catalunya, he should have been very hard to beat.

But a strange strategy call left Barrichello second behind Button at the chequered flag. Did his team call it wrong – or was he put on an inferior strategy because Brawn has decided to back Button for the championship?

After the first round of pit stops we heard a clip of Brawn’s radio broadcast where Barrichello was told that Button had switched “to plan A.” It soon became clear Barrichello was running a three-stop strategy, while Button would only be stopping twice.

After the race Ross Brawn said: “three stops was always going to be the quickest strategy particularly with [the hard tyres] being so slow”

Brawn also said that Barrichello had problems on his third set of tyres. Barrichello said the same in the press conference (although he referred to his second set of tyres, it’s likely he meant the third). The lap times support this explanation:

Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello lap times, Spanish Grand Prix (click to enlarge)
Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello lap times, Spanish Grand Prix (click to enlarge)

After the race, Barrichello said: “Before the race the agreement was that both the cars would be doing three stops.”

According to Brawn, Button was switched onto a two-stop strategy “to avoid leaving him behind Rosberg”. This also makes sense: Rosberg was 18.646s behind Button when Button made his first pit stop on lap 17, so whatever happened Button was going to come out behind the Williams. Putting him on a two-stop strategy ensured Rosberg did not hold him up.

Barrichello stuck to his three-stop strategy and came out narrowly ahead of Rosberg. But Button was able to stay close enough to Barrichello during his second stint to move ahead of his team mate after the final pit stops.

Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello time gaps, Spanish GP (click to enlarge)
Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello time gaps, Spanish GP (click to enlarge)

What I don’t understand about Brawn’s version of events is this: Having seen Button change onto a different strategy, why did Barrichello’s crew not change his strategy to cover Button’s, when that was the only car likely to take the win off them?

A strategy with fewer stops is always the safest options. It makes the car less vulnerable to a safety car period. It is highly unusual to see a driver leading a race gamble it on a strategy that involves relinquishing track position.

Also, few other teams reached the conclusion that the three stop-strategy was superior. The only other driver to stop three times was Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima – and he had made an early pit stop during the first safety car period.

And if the purpose of the three-stop strategy was to reduce the amount of time spent on the unfavourable hard tyre, why did Barrichello make his final pit stop only two laps after Button?

Going into today’s race Barrichello was 12 points behind Button with 130 still to be won. Would Brawn really decide to sacrifice Barrichello’s season to Button’s at this early stage? Many people would suspect that they would – and point to Brawn’s treatment of Barrichello at Ferrari in the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix as a perfect example.

A poll during the live blog showed 69% of people believed Brawn had deliberately put Barrichello on an inferior strategy. I’m not convinced yet – after all the called Barrichello’s strategy wrong at Bahrain with no obvious ulterior motive. What do you think?

How do you explain Barrichello's strategy?

  • The team made a mistake / Barrichello was slow (47%)
  • The team wanted Button to win (53%)

Total Voters: 1,409

Loading ... Loading ...

212 comments on “Did Brawn deliberately give Barrichello a poor strategy to let Button win?”

  1. Ross Brawn claimed that they wanted Barrichello to win. Button changed strategy during the race because they were worried he’d end up stuck behind Rosberg.

    Guess Button was simply lucky and skilled enough that he managed to pull of his strategy where Barrichello failed at his (or vice versa, the strategy failed him)

    1. button could have easily overtook rosberg if he really wanted to.
      he forcefully deceived barrichello. its a real pity the race was snatched from rubens.

    2. Rosberg was at reasonably a similar pace during his first stint. I doubt they could have overtaken him.

      Still, the whole discussion is moot. There is no way Barrichello could have pulled off the same strategy as Button did. Barrichello could not have done 30 laps on a single set of tyres.

    3. I’m pretty sure they wanted Button to win. There was just no point on switching Barrichello to 2 stops.

    4. “Barrichello could not have done 30 laps on a single set of tyres.”

      What? He was ahead of Jenson! Why didn’t his team match Button’s strategy if he was, at that stage, the only concern for Rubens? Had they matched the strategy – and they had plenty of time to think about it – it wouldn’t even have mattered whether Rubens was slower or not. Button would never have gotten past, just look at Vettel’s race. And if Rubens was so slow that it would’ve undermined both their races, then it’d have been a fair call for the team to order the switch.

      I can only understand this from Brawn’s perspective, wanting to cover all their bases. But Rubens really did not deserve this, it was so painful to watch. It was surely a defining moment in the championship.

      Another huge question is: if Rubens’ team stuck with the 3-stop to avoid the hard tyres, why the hell was the second stint so short? The last stint with the hard tyres was as long as any other! Any thoughts?

    5. It really doesn’t make any sense to assume some conspiracy. They put both drivers on a 3 stop strategy. How would they do that if they did not think that was the best option?

      They gambled with Button to cover their bases and to prevent him getting stuck behind Rosberg. Indeed Button did end up behind Rosberg. If he was on a 3 stop he would have needed to win a lot of time and being stuck behind Rosberg was going to make that impossible. Button would have lost time and perhaps the position if Vettel would have overtaken Massa.

      1) It makes no sense to assume they tricked Barrichello in a 3 stop strategy
      2) What Ross Brawn said makes a whole lot of sense.

    6. Patrickl,

      Read my post again, I never said there was any conspiracy. I’m not that dumb. I even stated that what happened is perfectly understandable from Brawn GP’s perspective.

      What I’m criticising is not Button’s race – it was superb – but Barrichello’s. And in my view, Rubens lost that race through absolutely no fault of his own. A more selfish strategy seemed perfectly understandable, but Rubens’ team didn’t even let him know about Button’s switch until after his stop.

      No wonder he was furious, anybody would have liked to at least have some say on that strategic decision!

  2. im with you there…

    why changing either Button or Rubens strategies if they were the only two able to win the race?

    i mean, we knew before the first pit stops that Vettel was more likely to fell behind Massa, like at Bahrain with Hamilton/Trulli. So the possibility for Rubens to win the race and Button to finish second was as high as Vettel chance of trailing Massa for the whole race.

    But somehow they managed to open the whole main straight as a gap between Button and Barrichello at the end of the race. It’s clear Jenson’s race was faultless, but so was Barrichello’s. So why? Why it ended up being like that?

    I think Barrichello’s winning would have been much better not only for him, but for his team too. Both drivers, with a magnificient car winning races and leaving the pack behind at the championship. It makes perfect sense for the team itself. But i think they think different.

    1. because ross brawn want a brit to win the championship. i’m sorry if i’m angering britons here. but the fact is rubens is just as talented as button if not better. so lets not question rubens’ ability as a racer. he’s already proved it.

    2. Funny how Ross Brawn didn’t back Irvine to win championships when he was at Ferrari…since he’s a nationalist and all.

      We can go on and on, but we’d have to ask yourself why Ruebens never won a WDC before….he’s good, but not great. Its as simple as that. Winning the Championship takes a lot more than just raw speed, its about the whole package.

      Thats my opinion. Good on Jens for another victory, conspiracy or whatever…he’s won the race, no point arguing..I felt that Lewis didnt deserve to win the WDC last year..but hey..he won, what can I do?

  3. It’s pretty sad, actually. I hoped for Rubens to pull a Mansell this year and retire as a champion.

    1. that is never going to happen. becoz rubens barrichello is a clone of ricardo patrese. i always knew that ross brawn would back jenson button as champ for obvious reasons. poor rubens, most experienced & the most betrayed driver on the grid.

    2. That’s the only truth and a fair justice! But it wasn’t meant to be…

  4. Chris Giancaspro
    10th May 2009, 16:41

    I don’t think they made a mistake, it was painfully obvious the 3rd stint for Rubens was just TOO slow. The tires weren’t working the way the team and Rubens expected. They most likely were scrubbed tires from earlier in the weekend and hardened up some after being used. His times were erratic lap after lap in that 3rd stint watching the live timing and even by the chart up above. He was not deliberately screwed into 2nd place, also look at JB’s performance on the hard tires, he killed it compared to FM and SV. Though I really thought Rubens wasn’t coming in for his 3rd stop until about lap 54 versus 50, which would of given him about another 8 second advantage if not a tad more over JB.

    I could be entirely wrong in my observations and the team are already fully backing JB this season. I do hope that is not the case, though I prefer JB over RB, I want to see a fair fight between them.

    1. there was no need for a third stint in the first place. he was flying like a rocket before the ill fated 3rd stint. ross brawn has to accept the mistake & publicly apologize to rubens.

  5. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    10th May 2009, 16:42

    I just think Jenson was always going to get more out of the harder tyres. Even if Rubi had been on a two stop, I dont think he would have been quick enough. Let’s just start giving Jenson some credit here.

    1. Does Button’s pace on the hard tyres (during his last stint) really matter though? He was only on them for two laps before Barrichello’s final stop, not enough to make a difference.

    2. But Barrichello’s lap times on the softs was peaking at only 1 or 2 tenths faster than Jenson on the hards!
      As Barrichello’s engineer said he needed to be touching the 1.23’s if not dipping under. He was consistently in the high 23’s. Thus failing to take advantage of the strategy.
      Saying that, it was still an unorthodox choice of strategy under the circumstances. But it was maybe the one that gave them a 1 2 – just not in the order Barrichello would have preferred.

    3. i dont agree with u cat. are you trying to suggest that button is better than barrichello??? if thats what you are suggesting, you got it absolutely wrong mate.

    4. Even if your basic ideas are correct, you just end up annoying people when you use too many loaded words and far too many exclamation points and question marks. Especially when you respond to lap time discussions with angry little rants.

      How about this: one driver is just a bit better in a given car, and so after a few races, whether consciously or not, the team does begin to back him…? Just kinda natural, even if it’s sad for the other guy, no?

    5. did you mean me Maciek?????

  6. I’m glad they changed his strategy as it’s clear at almost all races that Barichello is inferior to Button and with the other teams getting more competitive they should be helping Button get as many points as possible while they can to have the best chance to win the championship.

    1. absolute rubbish comments.

    2. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      10th May 2009, 18:58

      Yes, Button is better.

    3. Sush Meerkat
      10th May 2009, 19:09

      I also believe Button to be better than Barichello, especially since he’s won a few races and now has that killer instinct winners get.

  7. There was nothing dodgy about Barrichello’s strategy, the maths show that three stops is the quickest race in Barcelona. As he says, his poor pace in the third stint cost him victory, although he would have been held up by Vettel/Massa anyway had his pace been what it could/should have been.

    Unless you’re at the front, choosing a three-stop isn’t going to work because you’d be stuck behind slower cars for the entire race. When you’re starting near the front, three stops work because the driver has a better opportunity to drive a ‘perfect’ race. In order to negate the extra time lost in the pits, a driver needs to be nearer the perfect laptime each lap on a three-stop strategy than on a two-stop. A three-stop is more about being on low fuel for longer than being on the more favourable tyre, which is why Barrichello only spent a lap or two less on the hard slick.

    It wasn’t a team ‘mistake’, and it probably wasn’t the team wanting Button to win. It was Rubens’ bad third stint

    1. then i would say ross brawn is very poor at mathematics. if brawn really wanted to judge who the better driver, he should have left button on a 3 stopper. then we would have seen who really is the better driver. i just dint accept the rosberg explanation. ross brawn is a very good deceiver i must admit to that.

    2. Bernification
      13th May 2009, 15:09

      Mp4- Brawn wasn’t trying to discover who was the best driver- he was trying to get the best result for his team. He was covering the basses in the event of a safety car.

  8. “And if the purpose of the three-stop strategy was to reduce the amount of time spent on the unfavourable hard tyre, why did Barrichello make his final pit stop only two laps after Button?”

    becuz he was stuck in the traffic.

    1. he was stuck in the traffic.

      Didn’t seem to hurt his lap times – he was in the mid 83s, Button came out doing high 84s.

    2. “stuck in traffic”thats the only excuse ross brawn can give to save his face.

  9. hitchcockm00
    10th May 2009, 16:47

    Like you say, Brawn has put Barrichello in this situation before at Ferrari.
    I’m not totally convinced that it was deliberate but if it was a mistake they should have realised.
    At the start of the race Button was complaining that Barrichello was going too slowly, then he dropped back. Perhaps because he was told that they would change his strategy and pass Barrichello in the pits.

    1. i absolutely agree with you. it was brawn’s call & it worked perfectly against rubens. ross brawn can never be a ron dennis. his mantra to success is to favor one driver & ridicule the other, thats what he does best & the best scapegoat available is rubens barrichello. we’ve already seen this happen countless times at ferrari.

  10. Brawn can say whatever on why he chose the strategy for Rubens. Rubens know best on the kind of strategy that works for him to finish in front of Button. Being a team player, he has to follow team orders. His sulking face in the post conference showed he is clearly unhappy; playing second fiddle to his team-mate similar to his Ferrari days when he in the shadows of Schumi.

    1. i agree with you. he should demand for equal status in the team. this is just turning out to be another 2004 for barrichello. i pity him.

  11. As a Brit and a fan of Button, I wanted him to win this race, but I wanted to see him win by beating everyone else, rather than cheating Barrichello for the win. On a dry, consistent track without a major likelihood of another SC period or rain, I can’t for the life of me see why a three stop would have any advantage over a two stop. Poor old Barrichello – he’s played second fiddle for practically all of his F1 career and today is no exception.

    1. It’s up to the driver to assert themselves. Barrichello has always been F1’s Mr. NiceGuy. Nice guy’s don’t win as often..

    2. he’s the easiest scapegoat one can find on the grid. he was cheated. i’m absolutely gutted.

  12. I hoped for Rubens to pull a Mansell this year and retire as a champion.

    Mansell didn’t retire as a champion.
    He did 4 races in 1994 in Williams – won the season’s last GP in Australia. And then he raced unsuccessfully in McLaren in 1995 (2 races).

    And if the purpose of the three-stop strategy was to reduce the amount of time spent on the unfavourable hard tyre, why did Barrichello make his final pit stop only two laps after Button?

    Since the third set of tyres didn’t work well, it was reasonable not to race with them for too long.

    1. Well, what i meant is that Mansell was a one-time champion by the time he retired :) Because i cannot predict whether Rubens is here to stay or he gets replaced.

    2. the mp4-10,the car designed by a super computer. sadly mansell couldn’t fit his large buttocks into it. he was the fattest driver i’ve ever seen. who was the fattest driver of all time????

  13. Chris Giancaspro
    10th May 2009, 16:53

    It was the 3rd stint, if the tires worked like they were supposed to, he would of easily had the win. What are some of you not seeing that I did? Just look at the erratic lap times for Rubens in that 3rd stint. That is what did his race in. They changed JB’s strategy because they feared he wouldn’t of even claimed a podium if he stayed on the 3 stopper due to being stuck behind Rosberg on a track that is nearly impossible to pass on. The tires killed Rubens today, not the team’s decisions.

    1. i’m sorry mate, i completely disagree with you on that one. don’t tell me button would have been stuck behind rosberg for eternity. rosberg after all finished 8th. no way was button finishing behind the williams. it is a clear conspiracy against rubens. Mr Brawn is a deceitful man. its rubens’s mistake to have trusted him. i doubt rubens will win any races this season. for that to happen ross brawn should resign.

    2. No-one’s saying Button would have been behind Rosberg for the entire race, but he would have been behind him for long enough to compromise his race and possibly put him behind Massa & Vettel on track.

      And if overtaking is so easy when you’re in a faster car, please can you explain why Vettel was not able to pass Massa?

      Okay changing Button’s strategy won him the race, so well done to his engineers. Rubens may be Mr Nice-guy, but he can wine with the best of them. He has never shown the kind of consistantly relentless pace that Schumacher had and that Button is showing signs of. He is probably the best Number 2 driver out there, but like Coulthard before him he is not WDC material.

  14. All the forums are buzzing with this, something is clearly not right. Poor Rubens, game over for him after only 5 races. It’s a shame because I would love to see Rubens take the title.

    1. Yes but he’s not good enough. Who knows where he’d be now in the championship if he’d not fluffed the start at Melbourne.

      I’m sorry, Rubens is and has never been championship material IMHO.

    2. @ John H

      so do you really think button is championship material??? he’s got a whole bunch of people and the team principal pitting for him. not to mention richard branson making it very clear that he would favour a english champ. rubens is as good as button, if not better.

  15. hitchcockm00
    10th May 2009, 17:00

    Rubens is going to be really gutted if he doesn’t get a shot at the championship this season. It’s his best opportunity for a long time.

    1. & his last opportunity.

  16. Chris Giancaspro
    10th May 2009, 17:02

    Well people need to face reality, his 3rd stint SUCKED, no way around it. Look how much faster he was than JB after the first stop, obviously JB had a good amount more fuel onboard going to a 2 stopper. Then look at his times in the 3rd stint…that is the ANSWER, the only one. The tires killed his race today, not the team.

  17. I think the two options on the vote are a touch unfair… I think there’s another explanation: that Button was simply much faster on the harder tyres than Barrichello.
    It must be said that fuelling Rubens so he’d come in only two laps after Button is a strange decision though.

  18. Why are you asking such a question? Jenson won because he put the work in to produce fast laps when required to and in turn made his 2-stop strategy work well, whereas unfortunately (for him) rubens’ 3 stop didn’t pan out so well with traffic and a poor set of tyres, despite the strategy being the fastest on paper.

    Why the hell would Brawn ever deliberately make Jenson the victor – this is a plainly ridiculous piece. Barrichello was unlucky not to win and that’s it.

    Usually the articles on here are good, well thought out pieces of motorsport journalism. Why spoil it with a headline such as this, unless it’s just to have eddie jordan style irate comments such as this.

    On a side note – it’s clear that some of Schumacher’s success was down to Brawn and his way of working a team. Without Schumacher, Ross’ tactics wouldn’t have worked and without Ross, Schumacher wouldn’t have won so many races. In a stark similarity; Rubens is now playing second fiddle to a driver that can put in the fast laps as and when and as for long as Ross Brawn needs him too. Instead of Michael Schumacher it’s Jenson Button.

    – With regard to the poll on this article – Sorry, but Barrichello had the opportunity, but could’t capitalise on it. That’s it.

    – With regard to this article – Don’t do to Jenson what the British media has successfully done to Lewis – bring him down off a high. He’s a truly great driver and is proving that to everyone with drives like he had today.

    1. For the reasons I’ve set out in the article above I think there’s plenty of cause to question what Brawn did. It was a substantial point of discussion during the race on the live blog.

      I don’t know why you’re taking issue with the headline. It asks a question, and the piece sets out some points of fact around which to discuss it. You’re reacting as if I’m arguing that Brawn did sabotage Barrichello’s race (Did you read the concluding paragraph?)

      You argue Barrichello “had the opportunity”. I suggest he might have had a better opportunity had his team put him on a strategy that closely mirrored that of his number one rival for the win – Button.

      I think the line that a three-stop strategy was the superior one is questionable because no-one else used it.

      And I haven’t criticised Button at all, so I’ve no idea what that last bit is about.

    2. Scott Joslin
      10th May 2009, 17:33

      I agree Adam, This shouldn’t be a story about Brawn fiddling the strategy, more that Rubens wasn’t quick enough to make the 3 stop strategy work and lost the win down to his own lack of pace. We heard the team radio telling Rubens that he wasn’t lapping at the pace they expected him to be doing, and hence, he lost out.

      There seems to be far to much skepticism about this result, when the fact that Rubens wasn’t fast enough to make the time up. Why people feel sorry for him, is beyond me. Where as Jenson was quick enough at the right time and all the right places – hence a great drive. Lets spend time looking at the positives and not looking for stories that don’t exist.

    3. Apologies, but that comment wasn’t meant to be against you Keith, and more from reading the headline, the article and the particularly the poll, which was in favour of it being a fix today, I had to make my thoughts clear. When people are saying it’s a fix (admitedly YOU didn’t but others here have) it does taint Jenson’s (well deserved) victory in Barcelona.

      I think on paper the 3 stop is quicker, with the slower tyre being so much slower, Jenson’s 2 stop was quicker because he drove quicker.

      Another good topic for debate, I’m just making sure there isn’t a tyrade of fans seeing today excellent race (relatively for the Catalunya track!) as a fix. It’s been more explained here.

  19. Chris Giancaspro
    10th May 2009, 17:05

    He lost about 11 seconds in that 3rd stint if you compare his times from the 1st and 2nd stints. There in lies the problem. Plus JB was much faster than Rubens on the hard tire as well. If the tires worked properly RB would of had the lead and JB would of been right on his ass to the finish line as he wouldn’t of been able to pass and MW would of still been where he was.

  20. what i don’t understand is this. when rubens was pulling away first tint, with button pitting earlier, im confident it will be a three stop for both. button refueled more, so it means a switch. But then Rubens pitted and the pit stop was faster than buttton’s, i thought, why are they doing this? even if rubens had a 20sec lead(if he did i didn’t check) he will be at a disadvantage because he is as fast as his teammate. he did not have such a lead, so its obvious button’s going to overtake after the pit stops. shame. rubens did not put down a wrong foot, his team cheated on him. Brawn dong a jean todt: you must pit three times for button and the championship.haha

    and i don’t understand why ferrari keeps on derailing their drivers chances to score points. 5 races, 5 mistakes or reliability problem.Yesterday stupid with kimi(or maybe they were preserving the hydraulics, which did not work, because it failed in the race). Then today with Massa not having enough fuel. he then takes vettel down with him and webber passed them both at the pit stops. BLAME THE TEAM not the driver, this statement also applies to BRAWN GP who blackmailed rubens

  21. If there’s one guy in F1 I trust it’s Ross Brawn.

    He said they gave Rubens the strategy to win and believed 3 stops would be quicker – Rubens just couldn’t pull it off – be it for technical reasons or lack of talent…. nuff said !

    1. if there’s one guy in F1 i do not trust its Ross Brawn.

      he said what he said to make barrichello look like an idiot. thats why he said that.

      ok consider this- why did ross brawn in an interview to bbc say they wanted rubens to win this race??? isn’t it open bias?? he said this after the race. it was kind of ridiculing rubens’ credentials as a grand prix driver. ross brawn was trying to make a statement through that comment,i.e. even after spoon feeding, rubens couldn’t pull it off, thats what he meant!!!! correct me if i am wrong. now everybody thinks rubens is a second class driver,fit only to play second fiddle to other dominating drivers. this fact will be substantiated,becoz these words came out of the mouth of ross brawn, & he is a demi-god to many of the ill informed f1 fans.
      i know how rubens will feel about this. he was backstabbed,cheated,fooled. poor rubens. but he’ll be remembered as a true gentleman racer. i dont wanna anger british fans(this being a .co.uk website) by saying it was jenson button who laid the icing on the cake on the already wrecked career of rubens barrichello.

  22. I’m not sure exactly, but I think he stopped quite a few laps before he was supposed to on his 2nd stop. Brawn said traffic, but I don’t think that was the case. And if the team put Button on a 2 stopper, then why not put Rubens, who was stopping later, on the same strategy? It just indicates favouritism. Guess Ross Brawn still sees Rubens as a sidekick.

    Someone said that Button’s a great driver. I would disagree. The great drivers do well even when the cars are struggling. Schu, Alonso, Senna and Prost are good examples. Button struggles when the car is bad. Remember last year? Clearly outperformed by Barrichello. So Button may be a good or decent driver, but he is far from great.

  23. second class treatment to rubens. i said this at the beginning of the season. after all ross brawn was the man who wrecked barrichello’s career at ferrari. it is quite clear brawn were not as efficient & responsive as they are to button. quite understandably, they are a British outfit & wanna see a Briton claim victory. so this is going to be a repeat of 1992,barrichello will have to settle with 1 or max 2 victories. i pity both rubens barrichello & ricardo patrese. but i’ve to mention that both mansell & button(if he wins the title) deserve it. but i feel sorry for rubens. but i have a feeling that rubens will part company with the team before the season ends. and when was the last time Brits won back to back championships???????

  24. ferrari’s days again.

    1. beginning of the alesi-berger era???

  25. Rubens Barrichello on Sunday made clear he is no longer willing to play second fiddle to any teammate.

    “I had the race in my hands and I was quite surprised when they told me they were switching Jenson to two,” the 36-year-old said.

    “I would like to understand why they changed that,” he added, explaining that his third set of tyres also slowed him down.

    “If that happens I won’t follow any team orders anymore,” Barrichello told reporters in Barcelona. “I’m making it clear now so everyone knows.”

    but Button denies it is the case.

    “We are all here to win, and today it just went my way and it didn’t for him,” the Briton said. “It could swing around for the next race, that’s the way things go in F1.”

    1. if he really said what he said,then i’m sure he’ll not be sticking around with this team is he doesn’t win the next couple of races. even i wanna know why they switched strategies midway??? even if there was a switch,it should have been for both the drivers. clear bias is visible. and finally its really annoying to see shoemaker hanging around in the paddock. he must be banned. what does he want??? hasn’t he grabbed everything that f1 has to offer???wants to wreck the career of other upcoming drivers????

    2. David (Brazil)
      10th May 2009, 20:18

      Kind of reminds me of the initial Alonso/Hamilton spat at Monaco 2007 and Lewis’s post-race comments about being number 2.

      I think the argument is fairly empty. If Button won by changing to a 2-stop after trailing to RB, then the issue is why Brawn went for a 3-stop strategy in the first place. Because they already knew Barrichello would get past Button from the grid?? The conspiracy theory doesn’t make sense. Seems more likely they were worrying too much about Vettel and Massa and did a McLaren of over-elaborating. And if RB thought Button switching to a 2-stop would threaten him, why didn’t he ask to change too? Would he really have risked switching strategy?

  26. It’s safe to say that Rubens was on better form than Jenson here going by the majority of friday and saturday, he was just pipped to pole in Q3 however got a better start and slowly pulled away from Jenson in the first stint despite carrying more fuel. If he’d have gone onto a two stop like Jenson then I don’t believe he would have won the race as Jenson could extract a lot more out of the harder tyre for some reason so his best bet was to run longer (and with lower fuel) on the softs using a three stop while Jenson had more fuel and was on harder tyres for longer on a two stop. Unfortunately, Rubens 3rd stint wasn’t as good as his first two and this cost him a lot of time. Also, if he’d have stayed out longer while Jenson was on the hard tyres then that probably would have helped him too.

    I dont think (and I really dont want to think) that the team is already manipulating the results but it does appear that Button is becoming pretty jammy in racking up the wins.

  27. I have no doubt. Button is driver number 1 for Brown like Schumacher was for Ferrari – maybe he can only be good doing stratagy for 1 horse… What a shame… Buu!

  28. What a shame! I expect people who in the past were against such things happening at Ferrari do the same.

    Rubens was definitely faster…apart from the fact that Button used Rubens settings yesterday. Buuuuuu

  29. 1 extra stop for only 2 laps less last stint on hards, there must be something wrong there. The 2nd stint(12 laps) from Rubens seemed way too short, traffic can not be the true reason, as Rubens was leading, whatever he’s running into, he’s lapping them not racing them, by bringing him in early(not enough gap to the cars behind him), he’ll only get behind real traffic.

    However, Brawn seemed indeed disappointed to me. And Button’s 2nd stint with 30 laps, was very good indeed!

  30. Brawn I believe is being deceptive here.

    Firstly, Button qualified with the lighter fuel load to guarantee pole position, So Button was the one on a pure 3stop strategy.

    Secondly, since Barichello was ahead of Button after the first pit stop, and was well ahead of the other cars, that was an opportunity to save a pit stop as he could be fueled heavy as much as Button, yet always come out ahead of him and other cars after their respective stops.

    Thirdly, after the introduction of the safety car, there is actually less time for a car on a 3stop strategy to build enough lead and maintain a consistent gap to the other cars, hence the window for a pure 3stop strategy had become eroded.

    Lets not also forget that, as the track rubbers in, there isn’t that much penalty in carrying a higher fuel load, as the tyres don’t suffer as much degradation.

    If you ask me, this was purely in the category as, “we are racing Barichello” :-) Deja vu.

  31. Surely the poll needs a third option, i.e. that Rubens just wasn’t quick enough in his third stint?

    After his first stop, Barrichello came out just ahead of Nico Rosberg. The extra time needed to switch to a two stop fuel load would have almost certainly put Rubens back out behind the Williams. Button would have come out behind the Williams regardless of his fuel strategy. That, I assume, was why Barrichello was kept on the three stop strategy.

    Rubens’ lap times in his third stint were extremely erratic, which supports the tyre problem explanation. Whether he would have been able to make the strategy work had it not been for this we’ll never know. We’ll also probably never find out how much fuel Button was due to take onboard at his first stop had he stuck with the original 3 stop strategy. But I don’t think this was some sort of conspiracy.

    1. Yes, exactly! If there is a need for a poll at all then there’s a need for this third option – well said! The argument is stronger for Bazza just not being as fast.

    2. I wanted to keep the poll as simple as possible to see where people stand in terms of “were Brawn doing something ‘naughty’ or not?”

      So whether you think the strategy was an honest mistake, or it was correct but Barrichello wasn’t quick enough, from the point of view of this article I think it makes sense to lump those together. It’s very easy to make polls too complicated.

    3. Right, well on the post about how good the race is, it would better better be be “great, good, dull or bad” rather than 10 options then?! Just a friendly jibe Keith, you know I’m a fan of F1F!

  32. Keith,
    You are absolutely right to pose this question, it clear others are asking a similar question. The forums are buzzing with this and no doubt the press will soon have something to say. I do hope everything is above board, because it would be a shame for Brawn and indeed
    Button. It just feels a bit of a downer at the moment as if something is not right.

  33. Not in a million years do I believe that this was an organised switch. I just think Button and his engineer did a better job.

    1. yes button & is engineer did do a better job. they did the best possible job by cheating,deceiving,fooling rubens barrichello.

  34. *hear hear to Andrew’s comment, not you mp4-19
    (why did your parents call you that – a little harsh!)

    1. is it your real name or are you trying to ridicule the names of gilles & jaques villeneuve??? i’ve never heard of a Milleneuve before!!!

    2. I’m a writer for F1 Badger – we all have motorsport related names based around our actual names – it’s an easy going website. You’ll find Ciaran Buttonham, Tess Tarossa, Ricardo Monza and Emma O’Rouge.

      Excellent stuff.

  35. It’s true that Barrichello wasn’t quick enough for whatever reason in the 3rd stint to make the strategy work. Even with Jenson being faster on the hard tyres, it’s very unlikely that he would have been allowed to race Rubens in the final stint unless someone like Vettel or Webber started to threaten them.

    However, I find it hard to see why Rubens remained on a three stop after Jenson had switched to a two stop, especially with the safety car being out for the first few laps – surely his engineers would have countered it if they were allowed to race for the win – but that’s the question isn’t it.

    It’s the second race in a row he’s had a three stopper, which is very unusual as that hasn’t really been the case at the front for years. The last time I can remember is Hamilton at Turkey last year, but that was because Bridgestone were worried about the tyres. Perhaps with this car Rubens is having a problem over longer runs? Or could it be the more cynical view that Rubens is being put on three-stoppers to ensure that he doesn’t beat Jenson?

    Either way, I’ve no doubt Rubens has the pace to beat Jenson – a look at the last couple of years shows that -but Button has the confidence at the moment that just seems to be giving him that bit extra. A win for Barrichello here would have given him more confidence and momentum for the rest of the season, but with evidence of a definite pecking order in the team beginning to emerge this early that’s sure to hurt Barrichello’s motivation.

    It’s a shame, because Rubens left Ferrari as he was fed up of being number 2. When he finally gets in a race winning car again, it’s in a team which again has Ross Brawn and another quick driver, and Rubens is being left out in the cold – underservedly in my eyes – again.

    1. I find it hard to see why Rubens remained on a three stop after Jenson had switched to a two stop, especially with the safety car being out for the first few laps

      Good point about the safety car.

  36. Button’s 2nd stint was almost as long as a stint for a 1 stopper, Rubens’ pace in his 2nd stint just wasn’t fast enough in comparison(and that stint wasn’t long enough either for whatever reasons).

    I tend to believe Brawn treated them fairly, whatever strategy was superior, the driver has to make it work.

  37. Driver A leads the race from his lighter teammate (driver B) before 1st pitstop in a dry race in one of the tracks where overtaking is almost impossible. Every driver is in a 2 stopper. Team decides a 3 stops for A and 2 for B.

    This is a team order to maximise the chances of driver B winning. It was all about track position on this track. All excuses are pure BS. End of story.

  38. Why can’t people simply accept that Button is faster and more consistent than Barrichello? That he works a better strategy with his engineer and pounds in the laps when needed?
    Barrichello has shown quite clearly over the years that he isn’t quite the top driver we all would so like him to be.
    Just how much of an opportunity do you need to win a WDC and fail on each occasion (including the Schumacher years.)

  39. Then why was Rubens faster with a heavier car during the first stint? Did he suddenly forget driving this track?

    1. Rubens didnt have a problem with his tyres or have erratic lap times in the first stint. Yes he was faster then, but he didnt maintain tht over the whole race – Jenson kept his pace up and did fast laps when h needed to. More than once heard the team telling Barrichello he needed to go faster to make th strategy work, which he did for a bit then dropped off a bit again. Barrichello lost the race for himelf (well hat and the tyre issue), nowt to do with Button switching strategy

    2. Rubens wasn’t faster at all during his first stint. Button was keeping exact pace with him during the whole stint.

      Obviously Button couldn’t go faster because Barrichello was holding him up.

  40. Have a first driver option in the team is the way to win WDC, and last for champions could tell it.

  41. Have a first driver option in the team is the way to win WDC, and last *four champions could tell it.

  42. It didnt cross my mind once that they purposely switched Barrichello and Jenson, Rubens just didnt make enough of his strategy – in theory his should have been the better of the two – arent three stops the way to go when you start at the front in Barcelona? Which would make Jenson on the strategy which was slightly more risky, but he just made the best of it. Just like the other races this year he has put in super fast laps when he needed to, he did it again here, and Rubens didnt do quite enough.

    Just because Barrichello was faster on Friday/Saturday does not mean that he will necessarily do the better job on Sunday. Vettel was better than Webber pre-race, but Webber’s race strategy proved to work better. Barrichello made the better start, but for one reason or another didnt maintain it over the whole race – Jenson did. Vettel was unlucky to be stuck behind Massa, and Barrichello seemed to have bad luck with tyres, its how these things go.

    To suggest that it was a team decision to hamper Barrichello so that Button would win is really quite unfair on Button, who simply drove the better race today.

  43. Barrichello claimed he had problems with two sets of tires and concluded that it was probably a mechanical problem with the car. He ended up running slower.

    They changed Jensons strategy thinking it would be better for Jenson. They didn’t change Barrichello’s strategy which was already planned. The conspiracy would be if they changed Barrichello and let Jenson pass him in the pits.

  44. There is no way that 3 stops is the way to go on this track. Alonso started with a 3 stopper in mind but switched to a 2 stopper because of the early safety car. Nobody was on a 3 stop strategy…except Rubens of course. He was faster than Button with a heavier car, has been faster all weekend…and suddenly all this happens. Why not just tell it like it is? Why pretend it was all racing? what are we…just a bunch of idiots watching TV? I have respect for Jenson as a driver, but today Rubens had the race in his bag and team screwed him. They may have their reasons, but chose to lie.

    1. Three stops works if you are at the front in Barcelona, which Barrichello and Button were. Alonso by all accounts was not happy with his qualifying because of the fact he was geared up for a three stop. His intention was to be nearer the front, and he didnt achieve this in qualfying, so the three stops strategy wouldnt have worked for him as he was too far back – he had no option but to change to a two stop. Three stops should have worked for Barrichello, better than Buttons two stops in theory, but Rubens just wasnt fast enough whe he needed to be. He admitted himself in the interviews that he had problems with the tyres and stuff, so why he was so confused that he didnt win I have no idea, if he knew he had had problems with the tyres – he has answered his own question :S

  45. Rubens was faster than Button with a heavier car? I don’t know, I looked at Keith’s graphics, I thought that the gap between them during the first stint was fairly constant. And 646 vs 649,5, hardly something to brag about IMO.

  46. KingHamilton&co
    10th May 2009, 19:11

    amazing, the votes are exactly 50/50! (as of my vote, 197 each) Looks like this is an undecided one!

    I think the team wanted button to win, but did it in a perfectly legitimate way.

  47. I didnt vote because there was no decent option. I think Brawn was playing it safe. In such a good position it made sence for him to try both strategies out incase the 3 stopper didnt end up as good as predicted. I dont beleive the team are just backing Button.

  48. well if the three stop is so bad howcome RB came in second and not further down?

  49. “From then I knew that I had to go flat-out to make my strategy work. However, I suffered on my third set of tyres and was not able to set the lap times which would have kept me ahead of Jenson. With the pace that I had pulling away from him [early on], I really felt I had it in the bag, and then all of a sudden after my third stop I was on a tyre that wasn’t working particularly well, and when I saw he was in front of me it was very disappointing.

    This Barrichello quote surely answers his own question – he didnt win because he had a bad set of tyres in the third stint, and couldnt set the lap times needed to beat Jenson on his strategy. Not sure why Barrichello is questioning why he didnt win, when he has answered that himself.

    1. To be fair to Rubens I don’t think he is. You have to remember that a lot of journalists ask leading questions trying to get a news worthy quote out of the interviewee. What was Rubens asked when he mentioned that he would hangup his helmet if he caught a sniff of team orders? And the fact that he hasn’t hung up his helmet tells me that either a) He doesn’t really think team orders were employed or, b) He is actually happy playing second fiddle… I think it’s a)!!

  50. Does anyone know if there was any communication between Jenson & the team before the pit-stops ?

    Maybe he radioed the team and asked them about changing the strategy and Rubens didn’t because of their differing positions.

    I’m not trying to make excuses here but I could understand if Button was thinking about ways to win while Barrichello felt comfortable as he was leading anyway.

    1. the fact of the matter is Mr Brawn wants john button’s son to win all the races,

    2. Yes there was, Jenson was complaining that Rubens was going too slow and that he needed him to go faster. I heard it, infact anyone paying attention to the BBC broadcast coverage would have heard it.

  51. MacademiaNut
    10th May 2009, 20:29

    After the race, Barrichello said: “Before the race the agreement was that both the cars would be doing three stops.”

    So, both of them were on the three stop strategy. BUT chose to go to two-stopper because he felt that he will be caught behind ROS. So, he decided to change his strategy.

    The correct question then should be, “why did Brawn choose only Button to switch to two-stopper and not both?”

    They both agreed to three-stopper and probably three-stopper was not a good strategy to begin with. BUT was smart to change it on track. BAR did not.

  52. It was more subtle than the Schumacher years, granted, but it was still not the least obvious position swap Brawn could have come up with. There’s no way he would have thought this strategy optimal. I just can’t see any reason to do this other than to give Button the win. Which is fair enough, I suppose, but you do feel for Reubens.

  53. I trust Brawn and believe it was a curious and initially unforseen mistake or perhaps even a rare miscalculation, simple as. As masterful a tactition as Ross is, it’s far to early in the season to be adopting team orders. Rubens appeared the stronger all weekend, and if anything I would have thought the team anticipated a Rubens win, so it seems odd to gamble that much more to give Jenson the win…

  54. The problem was not Rubens third stint. Just draw the whole lap chart and you’ll see that even if Rubens had been faster during his third stint he would have come up to Massa and Vettel.

    The reason Rubens lost the race was that Button had an extremely fast second stint that lasted for 30 laps! How he set those times with such a heavy car and on one set of tyres is just unbelievable. Barrichello could never have pulled that off.

  55. no one did a 3 stopper there since 2004 so I guess the team wanted to make sure button could exploit his true pace fully.

  56. Ross Brawn is a proven past master of team orders, and as we’ve debated else where on this site I don’t particularly oppose the notion. Especially come next year when the championship will be determined by the most wins.

    What better result than your current championship leading driver collecting another win and your other driver coming home second to maximize manufacturer’s points?? Perfect strategy to my way of seeing things.

    Sorry Rubens, your a great guy, a talented driver, but the team will always put the best strategy behind Jenson. And that decision was proven by Jenson’s amazing last lap in Q3. He’s a consistently better and faster driver. End of story.

    1. keep up with the news. next year will be decided by most points, not most wins.

  57. YES YES YES!

  58. Well, the poll results at the moment are 50-50 so I guess this one will be argued long into the season!

    Like Keith, I can’t see how three stops could have been considered a better option than two when taking track position and traffic into account. Whether or not the mistake was deliberate or not depends on who made the call to switch Button’s strategy. If it was his engineers alone, as Brawn contend, then maybe Rubens’ people are to blame, but I can’t believe that a master tactician like Ross would leave it to his engineers to call the race.

    1. Yep still split down the middle, only five votes in it after 565 cast…

    2. I like to know when was the last time anyone won anything in a F1 race with a 3 stop. I agree with your post.

  59. Here’s my take on it and I’ve posted this over at AMF and PlanetF1 too just for full disclosure so some of you may have already seen it… Brawn essentially sold Rubens a strategy that required him to set a pace that no driver short of Schumacher could possibly have done

    24.097[—-]23.757[—-] 0.340[—-]
    23.906[—-]23.607[—-] 0.299[—-]
    23.731[—-]23.646[—-] 0.085[—-]
    23.895[—-]23.368[—-] 0.527[—-]
    23.558[—-]23.460[—-] 0.098[—-]
    24.055[—-]23.890[—-] 0.165[—-]
    23.911[—-]23.436[—-] 0.475[—-]
    23.653[—-]23.386[—-] 0.267[—-]
    23.916[—-]23.394[—-] 0.522[—-]
    23.861[—-]23.406[—-] 0.455[—-]
    23.517[—-]23.463[—-] 0.054[—-]
    23.594[—-]23.454[—-] 0.140[—-]
    23.683[—-]23.444[—-] 0.239[—-]

    Here are a comparison of lap times, essentially “fuel corrected” in that they display Rubens third stint (soft tyres), and the last 18 laps of Jenson’s second stint (soft tyres). What this demonstrates are their times relative to each other while each driver had the same amount of fuel on board. You can see that over the course of those 18 laps, Barrichello was 3.035 seconds slower than Jenson, keep that figure in mind we’ll come back to it an a second.

    When Jenson came in for his second pit stop at the end of those 18 laps, Rubens had a gap of 11.9 seconds to him. If Rubens had been allowed to run the full length of his planned third stint, an extra three laps at a projected pace of 23.350 seconds against Jenson’s third and final stint on hard tyres this is what would have happened…

    [b]Jenson Button 3rd Stint (Hard Tyres)[/b]
    50 1:25.225
    51 1:24.962
    52 1:24.788
    53 1:24.698

    Rubens would have gained 6.2 seconds over those laps, minus an estimated 0.6 seconds which is the same amount of time Jenson spent lapping back markers, which was Brawn GP’s given reason for bringing in Rubens early to go onto the hard tyres.

    11.9 – 5.6
    GAP: 6.3 seconds

    Now remember back to how Rubens was 3.035 seconds slower than Jenson during those 18 laps? Let’s say Rubens had matched Jenson, lap for lap…

    6.3 – 3.035
    GAP: 3.265 seconds

    So if fuel corrected Rubens had lapped at the EXACT SAME SPEED as Jenson Button, he still would have emerged 3.265 seconds behind his team mate.

    Now you have to look at the time Rubens spent during his second stint when he was lighter than Jenson Button…

    [b]Rubens Barrichello 2nd Stint (Soft Tyres)[/b]
    21 1:23.569
    22 1:23.352
    23 1:23.354
    24 1:23.288
    25 1:23.377
    26 1:23.009
    27 1:23.004
    28 1:22.762
    29 1:22.780
    30 1:22.829

    10 laps, 3.265 seconds, 3 tenths of a second per lap he needed to go faster. To do so, Rubens would have needed to have set the following times…

    [b]Rubens Barrichello 2nd Stint Adjusted[/b]
    21 1:23.242
    22 1:23.025
    23 1:23.027
    24 1:22.961
    25 1:23.050
    26 1:22.682
    27 1:22.677
    28 1:22.435
    29 1:22.453
    30 1:22.502

    Rubens Barrichello’s personal best lap was a 1m22.762, that was good enough for fastest of the entire race. Jenson Button’s fastest lap was 1m22.899

    For Rubens to have emerged with a 0 second gap to his team mate, he needed to set a time below his and Jenson’s fastest laps 5 of those 10 laps.

    To put this into perspective, Jenson Button set only 2 laps under 1m22.000s the entire race.

    Now I’m going to tell you why all that was irrelevant. Rubens Barrichello had track position. He was leading the race, running a lap longer than Jenson Button and had a comfortable gap that he could cover whatever strategy Jenson chose. Whether they originally planned for both cars to run a three stopper or not, Rubens should have been put onto the same optimal strategy, not one which required him to set 5 laps well under the already fastest lap time of the race.[/quote]

    1. I don’t quite follow the whole story, but it should be quite straightforward.

      Barrichello does one stop extra during Button’s 30 lap middle stint. Barrichello loses 19 seconds with that extra stop, so he should have been (on average) 6 tenths of a second faster during those 30 laps. Fuel corrected that should be possible.

      During his second stint Rubens wins 8 seconds over a 10 lap period. So that’s actually 8 tenths a lap faster.

      I’m pretty sure that their computer really calculated a 3 stop race to be faster. I’d say that it would have been right too.

      On the other hand when there is traffic or when the driver has a problem it might fail too. Rubens demonstrated both. Had he been faster he would have been stuck behind Vettel and Massa, but ibviously he wasn’t fast enough during his second stint.

      Seeing how Rubens had a problem with his car (actual problem or perceived problem), he would have had the same problem with Button’s long second stint.

      Imagine Rubens in a 30 lap stint with a problem. he would have completely collapsed.

    2. Sorry Matt,
      but youve completely forgotten about Vettel. Had Vettel gotten past Massa (or just pitted even 1 lap earlier) he would have put in some seriously fast laps for much of the race… With Rubens ‘safely’ behind Rosberg for a couple of laps, he would have lost 10 to 12 seconds (see calcuations done for Jenson on same strategy somewhere down this thread). 4 seconds lead gone, tyres gone… yes, he would be shure that his teammate was behind him, but he was racing Vettel too at that point. It was pure luck for brawn that Vettel left himself stuck behind Massa all race long, just look at those last few laps he put down after passing Massa. They must have assumed Vettel would’ve gotten past Massa by the latter not pitting lap 19, by driving the pace they held him for, and by having pitted when they expected him to pit (he and Massa made their second pitstop earlier than Brawn expected, considering what they said over the radio). So assume he would have settled for this ‘safe track position’ right under the DDD of Rosberg: he would have lost his gap and fuel advantage to Button, whilst wasting his tyres, and in addition, he would most likely end up some 8 seconds behind Vettel with no pace to catch him (or so suspected Brawn GP).

      As for your calculations, Im impressed with the amount of numbers crunched, but again, you made mistakes.
      In Formula 1, all competing cars are on track at the same time. Therefore, if Barrichello in any manipulations had come out ahead of Button after his third pitstop you cannot assume that Button would have driven the last few laps as he drove them, passing Barrichello without any hindrance. In fact, the Circuit de Catalunya is known for being a difficult track for overtaking, and when taking into account that theyre also driving the same car, the possibility of Button passing Barrichello in that hypothetical situation is very dim, as the team would certainly not want to risk a ‘rosberg-Kubica like incident’. Barrichello didnt sound like he was ever going to let Button by voluntarily.
      Therefore, your calculations must start from the 7 second gap Button held after the latter’s last pitstop. the rest of this is irrelevant anyway: assuming that both had an equal car after Barrichello’s third pit stop, they should have been equally fast, Barrichello a little faster even when he had pitted later and his tyres were marginally better.

      Next, you looked at those laptimes and started doing some mathemagic that proved your point. But not very relevant, since those 3rd stint laptimes are not to be a point of reference, since everyone can see that Barrichello lost his race there as his laptimes were so much slower than his 1st/2nd stint laptimes. Also, using the laptimes from Button in his second stint as an estimation rests on the assumption that Button’s 13-lap older tyres would be a match for Barrichello’s, which they normally shouldn’t be.
      Next time around, I suggest you start by inserting Barrichello’s second stint for the last 9 laps of Ruben’s third stint & the 3 laps of his third stint he didn’t drive. For the first 10 laps, use the laptimes of Button on the same fuel load.
      That button’s tyres by then had completed 13 laps on heavy fuel makes his tyres a little more worn than Barrichello’s. This means Button was slightly slower than what Barrichello would’ve been capable of. This more than compensates for those latter 9+3 laps of Barrichello, where he would have been a little slower than we assume, since his tyres had completed 10 laps on a lower fuel load, whilst his tyres in his second stint were fresh

      Im not gonna do the math for you, but by looking at it, I can tell you that this would bring Barrichello some 5 (give or take 2) seconds ahead AFTER his 3rd pitstop. Then you would have to factor in a big chunk of traffic, say a worst case scenario of 2 seconds, and that leaves him 3 seconds ahead.
      Keep in mind that Button’s engineers told Button the gap would be 3-4 seconds, at least, thats what Button told the world during the FIA official post-race press conference. Or did you somehow miss that?
      So no, he would not have to drive 5 laps faster than the fastest lap of the race, just 1 identical copy (since you copied it over), and instead of that fastest lap, he could have had a big moment that cost him 2 seconds and still appear ahead of Button.

      Anyway, thanks for your insights and the work you put into them, but please, be a bit more cautious next time when picking what raw data you want to manipulate.

  60. I don’t think there is a story here… Button lost first place so they changed his strategy … that’s normal imo.

    Rubens was doing great in the first half of the race, pulling away nicely.
    But in the end he couldn’t get the pace out of the car when he needed to… so he lost the race.

  61. HounslowBusGarage
    10th May 2009, 22:10

    On the Telegraph and the Times sites there is a quote from Button saying that he was on a three-stopper as well, and somewhere I read that he wasn’t 100% convinced when they changed him to a two-stopper.
    I agree with SoLiD; there is no story here. It was just racing.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      10th May 2009, 22:23

      Here’s the Jenson quote

      “They switched me a two-stop to cover all bases,” Button said. “Three-stop was the quicker strategy, we thought. I wasn’t sure about going to a two-stop. When they put the fuel onboard, the car felt very, very heavy. And I didn’t think I’d come out in front of Massa and Vettel but I did and from then on I could just get my head down and concentrate on putting the laps in and being as consistent as possible. To come away with a win, this … y’know, they all mean a lot, obviously, but coming back into Europe and winning in Barcelona, a circuit I’ve always found a little tough, is a good feeling. It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”

  62. Rubens should have changed to a 2 stopper too if he felt it was the right thing to do. I’m sorry, but the driver does get a say in these matters, you can’t just blame the team here.

    Button changed his stratergy on the fly due to Rosberg – and it worked out. No dodgy team tactics.

  63. It looks very suspicious, why was Barrichello not notified of Jensen’s switch till after his own first stop?

    Moreover – Barrichello could surely have won on a 3-stop, if at his 2nd stop they’d put more fuel in. He came out miles in front of Webber – can you check how much Keith? Surely he could have taken on another 10 laps of fuel, retained track position, built a larger lead and ultimately spent far less time on the hard tyres. The final winning margin is rather false I feel, as clearly once Rubens knew the game was up he nursed his car and/or his head went down, but an intelligent 2nd stop could surely still have rescued his race.

  64. Barrichello was nearly out of the team this year. He was obviously chosen because Ross Brawn couldn’t afford the risk of having a young driver who’d always be battling with Button for the win. I’m sure one of the conditions of giving Barrichello the drive was that he’d have to play second fiddle to Button. To stand the best chance of winning the drivers title (the only thing the public cares about) the team has to back one driver. Look what happened to Hamilton and Alonso. For a team on a tight budget they can’t afford to take risks.

    1. I tend to agree with you on that, but Barrichello has to have SOME integrity left in him. Why is he racing then? waiting for a retirement from JB so he can pick up a win?

  65. I suspect this was Brawn’s preferred result. It’s not about favouritism; it’s just common sense given the current standings.

    How many of recent seasons come down to the the last race and a few points? Lots of them.

    It’s still early in the season? So what, as far as I was aware the point value of these races doesn’t depreciate over time.

    It was great to see the two best drivers; Alonso and Hamilton, battling it out at Maclaren, but I bet Ron Dennis is secretly kicking himself for not picking one over the other, during that season.

    1. well, Kamawoop, initially Donnis did do that, as Hamilton let by Alonso for 2nd on his debut grand prix, Australia 2007. In the end, those 2 points acutally cost Hamilton and McLaren the WDC at the end of the season. Ironically.

  66. IMO Barrichello has some choices to make whether to continue in F1 or not. His interpretation of events is what really matters at this point. Rubens, make the decision now to continue to be a Village idiot or not. Most F1 people think that Brawn put one over you, again, so decide now to go to Rio for good or not. If JB is decided by the team to be the chosen one, go home man. You have been there done that.Get out!!

  67. I always get annoyed when people say sportsmen should retire.

    It seems to me that Rubens has a genuine love for racing; stay until your pushed is my advice.

  68. Eduardo Colombi
    10th May 2009, 23:38

    Barrichello was slow in his third stint of tyres and went to the pit too early. If he could stay in the pace that he was in second stint and entered the pit 3-4 laps after he would had won the race.

  69. Interesting that the conspiracy theorists are focusing on the fact Rubens was on a three stopper. In Bahrain he took a different strategy to Jenson, as that was what he was comfortable with, and it seems clear that 3 stopping today was his call too.

    The only way I can see foul play (a way which is not hinted at in the comments I read), is if Rubens had chosen a 2 stopper and been switched to 3 without his consent. As it happens, three stops should be quicker in theory, so that seems out. And is pretty desperate to claim that Jenson and his engineers should not be able to modify his strategy as circumstances change (as they had from losing a place at the start).

    The other possibility, which I sincerely hope is not the case, would be if the tyres on Rubens car for the third stint were ‘sabotaged’ from being worn or having the wrong pressures. The lack of pace in third stint was very noticeable from a driver on top of his game but I suspect at his stage in life he would be very clear if he thought that had happened.

  70. Rubens was close to tears after the race. It clearly wasn’t sabotage, yet I also think the only sensible individual option would have been covering Rubens move.

    There’s no “I in team”, also works in reverse. I think Brawn got it spot on.

  71. Edit: covering Jenson’s move.’

  72. Interesting. The votes are split right down the middle. The answer to your question though is no, Brawn did not deliberately give Barrichello a poor strategy to let Button win.

  73. F1 is a show run by from the shadows. Remember last year last race last corner? Remeber how both Toyotas posting almost identical times on that last lap to use as evidence that there was no foul play.

    Remeber the year before, the 17 points gap that evapourated within two races (I speculate Mr E promised Ferrari the title in return for keeping the McLaren driver in the show and how Kimi didn’t even look excited by achieving his dream of world champion? Ask yourself who controls those times???

    Do you remember when three drivers (not sure but I think in ’97 MS, JV and Frenzen) posted +0.000 in qualifying and Murry had to say “trust me there is no fix”???

    Did you notice how surprised Button was when he got pole position yesterday when he clearly didn’t expected?

    Well done Mr E who is determined to manipulate everything from his control room.

    Wake up people! F1 has died long time ago and all we are left with is mere show where the players know exactly what the score is.

    I bet Button requied number 1 status in return for his 50% pay cut. I bet Rubben was told whoever is on Pole would be allowed to win the hence his BIG shock yesterday. I bet Mr E manipulate the Button’s time yesterday.

    What do you think Martin (CEO McLaren) agreed with the FIA after Ron was sacrified? To toe the line is obvious but something else fishing went on then and we are about to smell it soon when the teams meet the FIA next week.

    Please prove me wrong just so I can enjoy real F1 again :(

  74. This topic made me sick. It’s absurd! Why don’yt you guys just accept the fact that Jenson is better that Rubens, and Rubens ain’t good enough to take the Championship. A win or two may be, but never a championship. Clearly this is just a conspiracy theorist’s idea… to have more post on the blog and be ever popular in the net.

    1. This is the biggest talking point coming out of the race, loads of questions were asked about it in the press conference afterwards, it’s an entirely legitimate area of discussion.

      The poll results make it pretty clear that people have sharply divided views on this one, and it’s definitely worth looking into.

  75. Prisoner Monkeys
    11th May 2009, 2:20

    If Brawn sabotaged Barrichello just enough to get Button in the lead, why did Jock Clear keep telling the Brazilian to put the hammer down? Every time the BBC picked up a radio transmission between car #23 and the pits, Barichello was told that he needed to find more time, especially when he was trying to dial out a substatntial enough lead on Button to keep his position when he came back out fo the pits.

  76. gospeedracer
    11th May 2009, 5:17

    If Button is a better driver than Rubens, how can the inferior driver pass the superior driver and take the lead at the first turn?

    Button thanked Rubens for his input on making the necessary adjustments on Buttons car to make it run faster during the free practice sessions. If Button was a the superior driver, shouldn’t he have figured it out himself?

    The Brawn team is British. This wreaks of bias. It’ll be interesting how Brawn handles the rest of the season. The truth will manifest itself.

    Most comments are not biased here but I sense that the ones that claim Rubens inferiority are most likely from Anglo bloggers.

    1. How about Ruben’s start at Melbourne?

      Jenson has made far less mistakes this season already and is the better driver. Rubens is not consistent enough to be a WC. Have you been watching F1 for the last 20 years?

      It’s nothing to do with the British connection.

  77. I don’t find it too difficult in believing that Brawn Gp went with Button instead of Barrichello. If body language is anything to go by, the Brazilian looked mightily cheesed off during the press conferance.
    As others have suggested, Barrichello went through this before at Ferrari when Ross Brawn was on the pitwall, so this should not come as a surprise.
    The fact of the matter is, the situation Rubens found himself in is as old as racing itself. When the team sees one of their two drivers getting wins, getting poles on a regular basis, the other driver very quickly assumes the ‘back up’ role.
    Atleast, the is how the teams would like it. More often than not, it can end in bitterness and poison and tear a team to pieces from within. Just look at what happened at McLaren two years ago for how bad it can go wrong.
    Who can forget David Coulthard driving the race of his life in Australia twelve years ago until being told to defer to Mika Hakkinen. An event that would take years to rectify, as the Finn would quickly go on to win two championships.
    Ross Brawn knows that Rubens is a dependable man, loyal and dignified. If you had put Schumacher, Montoya, Alonso, or any other bigtime driver in a situation in which they felt they had been cheated out of a win then there would be fireworks.
    It could, maybe, payback for all the loyalty Button showed over the years as the team operated under the Honda umbrella. Not too many years ago, Jenson had the opportunity to return to Williams, one he turned down in favour of Honda thus breaking an existing contract with the boys from Grove.
    Button, unlike Barrichello, has that link with the team. A link as strong as Alonso’s with Renault, Hamilton’s with McLaren, or Massa’s with Ferrari. Ross Brawn kept Rubens because he is a great driver, a great guy to have onboard, and the perfect foil to Button. Just as he had been to Schumacher for six long, highly successful seasons.
    The way Brawn Gp are going, they remind me of Williams back in 1992, unstoppable. That year, a certain Nigel Mansell brought home the world drivers title. After years of trying, years of bad luck, he eventually prevailed. Sound simular?

  78. Rubens, with lighter fuel and fresher tires, should have been a second faster on his 3rd stint and beat Button by 4-5 seconds.
    Rubens lost, because his car or tires lets him down. It’s that simple.

  79. Chris Giancaspro
    11th May 2009, 6:43

    What are the conspiracy theorists looking at? Do you that fall into that category not see his lap times in his 3rd stint? Seriously look at Ruben’s 3rd stint, this speaks of his race. Then go ahead and look at his times when he took on the hard tires compared to Button’s on hard tires. If the team changed his option to 2 stops, do you really think he would of won the race? He was mighty slower on the hard tires and really not that much faster on the softs even when Button had much more fuel on board. I believe he would of not even ended up 3rd as he would of been right in the thick of Vettel and Massa. Please go and look at the lap times before crying foul play by the Brawn team. He didn’t even come near low 1:23s in that 3rd stint at all. 3 stops would of won if the tires didn’t take a dump. Some people really just irk the hell out of me with the crying foul silliness. Open your eyes and see the plain truth that is there to be seen in front of you.

    Rubens was let down by the Bridgestones not the team.

    1. If the team changed his option to 2 stops, do you really think he would of won the race? He was mighty slower on the hard tires and really not that much faster on the softs even when Button had much more fuel on board.

      Which is more reason why they should have put him on a two-stop strategy to keep track position over Button – Massa’s race shows how (comparatively) easy it is to keep a fast car behind you at Catalunya if you mirror their strategy.

    2. Keith, seriously, that makes no sense. They calcultated that 3-stops was faster. Indeed Rubens’s second stint shows it could have been.

      Why would they take a risk with Rubens while he was in the lead? How on earth could they have known that Rubens would have a problem in his third stint?

      Ifthey had assumed that Rubens would have a problem in his third stint (or if they thought a 2-stop strategy was actually faster) they would have gone for a 2 stopper for both drivers from the get go.

  80. Historically the Spanish GP is won from Pole Position so the Conspiracy started in Qualifying:

    Q2. RB is quickest driver overall in session @ 1:19.954
    JB 5th @ 1:20.192

    Q3. RB is given heavier fuel load than JB, despite both supposedly on same stratergy – no surprise then that JB gets pole position

    RB shows his Superiority over JB by overtaking the lighter car from the start (and getting the fastest lap time in the race). Hence the (supposed)change back to ‘Plan A’. By the way doesnt Plan A usually come before Plan B

  81. I just can’t believe that some people blame Barrichelo’s 3rd stint. He came out 10 seconds behind with 18 laps to go, same amount of fuel and same tyre conditions. HOW THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT ANY PILOT to cover 10 seconds and pass in 18 laps, IN BARCELONA, with the SAME CONDITIONS??? C’mon, you people defending the “bad 3rd stint theory” are jokers.

    1. Rubens gained at least 8 seconds during his 12 laps in his second stint. His second stint lasted longer so why not? Button was losing pace during his long stint too since his tyres were wearing out. Rubens should have been able to push all through his stint.

      He wouldn’t have had to pass Button on track either, he would have gone longer than Button and passed him in the pits.

  82. 2 stops is always the best option period. It’s very obvious that Brawn wanted Button to win.

    What I don’t understand about Brawn’s version of events is this: Having seen Button change onto a different strategy, why did Barrichello’s crew not change his strategy to cover Button’s, when that was the only car likely to take the win off them?

    1. A properly executed 3 stop race with no traffic interfering would have bene faster.

      Rubens was 8 tenths a lap faster than Button in his second stint. Rubens would have gained 5 seconds if he had completed the strategy properly.

      Of course he didn’t run fast enough and I say he would have ran into traffic (Vettel+Massa) if he had. Still it’s what they thought would win.

  83. schumi the greatest
    11th May 2009, 9:28

    I think you need to take a long hadr thought before reacting to this article (great again keith). 1 or 2 things just dont add up in my head.

    Why were the brawns 3 stopping anyway?? their 1st stint was similar to vettel’s and he managed to split them on the grid? as keith pointed out nobody other than barrichello and nakajima 3 stopped so clearly it wasnt the quickest strategy. why would it be?? i know the circuit is hard on tyres but the pitlane is very long too so the more you stop the more time you lose doing the pitlane speed limit.

    Also i would of thought that brawn wouldn’t risk the strategy of the guy who was in front. It was clear with massa holding up vettel and webber that the race win was between button & rubens yet they kept rubens on the 3 stop.

    Another thing to consider is the gap rubens was able to pull out in his 2nd stint. 13 seconds…not bad in about 15 laps (probably was more i know)

    The most puzzling thing for me though was the length of the last stint, ross said that they went for 3 stops to avoid being on the hard tyre for a long time. which is a fair point they were much slower thsn the soft tyres, so why bring barrichello in with about 15 laps to go?? he never real;ly stood a chance on that strategy. thats what ive drawn from it anyway. i dont know if it was deliberatley favouring jenson or whether rubens was left with no hope because of his tyres on the 3rd stint.

    im not taking anything away from button though, the last few seasons ive not been a big fan of his driving to be honest and i thought there was no way he could win a world tittle but im eating my words this year. He was struggling all weekend and then he grabbed pole with a super lap, albeit slightly lighter than rubens. then in the race he didnt put a foot wrong again so all credit to him.

    i think rubens has to win in monaco or brawn are going to be looking at team orders. Rubens had the advantage this weekend and through some bad luck he has come away even further behind button.

    1. Why were the brawns 3 stopping anyway??

      Like I said already, Rubens was 8 tenths a lap faster than Button during his second stint. 0.8s Times 30 makes 24s minus 19 seconds for a stop makes Rubens faster by 5 seconds.

      Rubens only needed to be 6 tenths a lap faster to break even, yet he was even 8 tenths faster.

      Obviously 3 stops was potentially faster.

      Also i would of thought that brawn wouldn’t risk the strategy of the guy who was in front. It was clear with massa holding up vettel and webber that the race win was between button & rubens yet they kept rubens on the 3 stop.

      Yes, so they kept Rubens on the strategy they thought was fastest. How does this not make sense?

      They gambled with Button since he wasn’t in the lead and he genuinly would have ended up losing time behind Rosberg.

      It really makes perfect sense.

      The most puzzling thing for me though was the length of the last stint, ross said that they went for 3 stops to avoid being on the hard tyre for a long time. which is a fair point they were much slower thsn the soft tyres, so why bring barrichello in with about 15 laps to go??

      Rubens DID have the shortest last stint of all drivers! Not by much perhaps, but still.

  84. Brawn shows no respect for Barrichello’s career. He did in Ferrari, he did it again in BGP. Just give all champions to Button! I’m a Barrichello’s fan, but now I have to cheer for Vettel, because only he have chance to beat Button. There is nothing Barrichello can do. So sad.

    1. Or maybe, like Schumacher, Button is simply a bit better than Barrichello? Or is there some conspiracy theory explaining why Button beat him in the previous races too?

    2. Scott Joslin
      11th May 2009, 9:49

      R – You have to ask yourself why is this happening to Rubens all over again? Is it that he isn’t as good as people think, hence why the management of the teams he drives for see this and prioritize the other driver over him because they are faster and more consistent.

  85. Poor Barrichello..always living in shadows, he is my favourite guy in F1..

    1. maybe because he is not a WC material.

  86. This season is about tyres not KERS or DD2. The Brawn car showed in China that it lacks ultimate down-force but has been very easy on tyres elsewhere. JB has shown that he can get more out of his tyres than anyone else, which made him faster on the hard tyre in Spain. Come Monaco and Rubens can put in a banzai lap for pole with every hope of winning.
    Ross Brawn cannot have decided who is his better driver yet, Rubens who is known to him or Jenson who had no real track record. He would have been mad to opt for JB in Spain where the threat from other teams appeared real before the race. He told us that his hopes lay with Rubens in Spain, what more honest comment do you need?

  87. I haven’t read all the comments, but it seems to me as if Button’s strategy was the superior one, but this was in part due to the fact he drove faster when it mattered most.

    Rubens’ times on similar fuel loads with the same times simply weren’t fast enough – if they had have been I imagine there was a small chance he could have beaten Button, but this is probably unlikely.

    I also find it hard to conceive that Brawn accidentally discovered 2 stops were better than 3 by changing strategy during the race, with the reputed tactical genius of Ross Brawn…

    I think the rational way to look at it is this:
    -Reliability depending, Brawn were pretty much guaranteed a 1-2 here.
    -To date this season, Button has 3 wins, Barrichello has 0.
    -Over the past 2 seasons, the drivers in contention for the title have all had 4/5/6 wins over the course of the year.
    -Button is fast approaching this total of wins already, and, even at this early stage, it does seem unneccessary to have the two drivers taking wins away from each other as we (and the Brawn team) don’t know how long their dominance will last.
    -Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Toyota could all potentially surpass Brawn in terms of pace before the season-end.

    I know outwardly the team want their approach to be seen as “they’re racing each other”, but ultimately they’re here to ensure 2 things happen – they win the WDC and the WCC.

    1. Rubens’ times on similar fuel loads with the same times simply weren’t fast enough – if they had have been I imagine there was a small chance he could have beaten Button, but this is probably unlikely.

      Did you miss the chart on top of this page? It shows that Rubens picks up a huge lead during his second stint. Another stint like that would rally have been more than enough to make a 3 stop strategy the faster one.

      I also find it hard to conceive that Brawn accidentally discovered 2 stops were better than 3 by changing strategy during the race, with the reputed tactical genius of Ross Brawn…

      They obviously did not discover this until the end of the race. Otherwise they never would have started both drivers on a 3 stop strategy. Besides how could they have known upfront that Rubens would have a “problem” during his third stint?

      Did you see how Rubens emerged just ahead of Rosberg after his first stop? Button was behind Rubens and thus Rubens would have been behind Rosberg. A strategy that is based on making time with a clear track ahead is then not going to work. So they put Button on what they thought was the inferior strategy because they had no other choice.

      If anything, Button’s strategy was compromised because he was behind the slower Barrichello after the start.

    2. If Button had maintained his pole position off the grid, and the roles had been reversed up until the first pit stop, I would have thought it would have been Rubens who was switched, due to the Rosberg factor. As you say Patrickl, Button’s three stop strategy would have been fine for him if he had had clear air, but he didnt, and Barrichello did.

      Barrichello’s strategy should have worked, he just didnt maximise it for one reason or another.

  88. In my opinion Brawn clearly favoured Button. OK, they’ve realised he’s the prime candidate for the title and they’ll be doing whatever it takes to secure him as many points as possible.

    Rubens was comfortably leading the race. He was heavier than Jenson in the beginning and just needed a pit-stop to finish the race. The team obviously changed their strategy. They called him much earlier twice! Really, what was the point of a three stopper for RB?

    A clear sign that Rubens was screwed bigtime, nevermind what the team’s chiefs suggest the opposite.

  89. BAR says he would quit straight away if there was any hint of favouritism- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8043243.stm

  90. Bigbdderboom
    11th May 2009, 10:45

    Anyone who knows me knows I love a good conspiracy, however on this occasion the facts hold up. Rubens pace was poor and he simply was not quick enough over his second stint, even in an interview Rubens sid he felt like something was broken on the car, and he couldn’t match jensons pace.
    It makes no difference to the constructors champ which order they finish in, and its far too early to be racing with team orders.
    Luck or talent won Jenson the race, but it certainly was not contrived.

  91. i think ross brawn wants button to win it is a shame that barrichello did not win the race it will have been good for him and button was happy about it i dont want him to win the championship

  92. Someone please clarify this. even if Jenson was stuck behind Rosberg, he would still have maintained his second position. No? so there was no need to switch him to plan A. now i hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but this thing does stink of some sort of uneven play between the teammates. It was Barrichello’s race to win, and if it wasn’t for his team strategy change he should have won.

    and to be fair, although team orders are not my preference, Barrichelo should have won among the brawns just because he got to turn 1 first, letting his teammate overtake him in the pit stops is not cool. however if it was a ballsy maneuver on the track then i wouldn’t be typing this post, it would have been deserved by Button.

    1. if Jenson was stuck behind Rosberg, he would still have maintained his second position. No?

      No, he would have lost that position.

      Rosberg was losing a heap of time to the front runners. Potentially Button could have been stuck behind Rosberg for 6 laps. Rosberg lost 6 to 8 seconds to Button over a 6 lap period. While to make the 3-stop strategy work Button would have was supposed to be gaining 4 seconds during those 6 laps.

      So overall, pushing through with the original strategy would have cost Button 10 to 12 seconds. Button only had a 6 second lead over Massa (and Vettel). Had Vettel gotten past Massa, Button would have been in even more trouble.

      There is no way that Button would make up for losing 10 to 12 seconds. He would have lost second and maybe even third spot by going for a 3 stopper while stuck in traffic.

      Rubens on the other hand had a clear track ahead of him so he could make the faster 3 stop strategy work. He was in the led already so there was no reason to gamble with his strategy anyway.

      Honestly when you think things through it really all makes perfect sense. It was brilliant strategy from Brawn.

    2. If Button was caught up behind Rosberg on his middle stint of a 3 stopper, given what they thought the ferrari and Vettel were running, would They have been risking button dropping down to 3rd or lower?

      A 3 stopper in Spain requires clear air to bang in the laps to make up for the pit stops.

      Remember, one of the radio transmissions that was broadcast was Brawn being very surprised that Massa and Vettel was coming in for their last stop so early, they were obviously expecting them to be running quite a bit longer, which would have threatened splitting the 2 Brawns.

      I reckon Rubens was just unlucky with the tyres on his last stint on the softs, but it would have been tight anyway, Button was incredibly fast on the hard tyres.

      Changing Button to a 2 stop was a change to ensure that they got the 1-2, given when they thought (wrongly) Vettel and Massa were going to be pitting.

    3. @ Kegs – Spot On!!

      And don’t forget the other transmission we heard where Jenson was pushing for Rubens to go faster (basically saying that he was being held up behind him). I believe that Brawn really did think that a 3 stopper was the way to go, BUT it required both cars to be lapping faster in the first stint than Rubens was managing which meant that Jenson’s race was being compromised – hence the switch to a 2 stopper for JB.

    4. @Ppatrickl:
      Exactly, they took a gamble with Button (as did Webber btw) and it paid off – more than padi off, in fact, because Barrichello slowed down.

  93. I don’t see any conspiracy here, what Brawn said seems to stand up.

    Brawn obviously thought that a three stop strategy was the quickest option as both cars started out on this, however it relied on the cars not been held up at all during the race. If they had not changed Button’s strategy he would have come out behind Rosberg after his first stop. On a two stopper this would not have mattered much but on a three stopper this would have stopped him putting in the quick laps when he needed to.

    Barrichello didn’t win because he wasn’t able to put in the required lap times throughout the race for whatever reason.

    Brawn weren’t guaranteed a 1-2. if Vettel had not been held up by Massa he would have challenged for the win, it was juts unfortunate for Vettel that they both pitted on the same laps.

    I read that BBC article and I thought the title was misleading, while the headline makes it seem Barrichello is ready to quit Brawn right now, the impression I got from reading it, is that he was asked what he would do if Button was favoured by Brawn, and he said he would quit but that he doesn’t think that is the case.

  94. I’m sorry, I may have missed something here, but I haven’t seen many people bring up the suggestion that for Brawn a 1-2 in the team is much more preferable to a 1-3. If I was given the decision of Rubens 1 & Jenson 3 and the few constructors points lost, or to make a decision that although put Rubens 2nd after Jenson, then I’d take it.

    I don’t think it comes down to a better driver, the team also has to make tactical decisions based on constructors points, which seemed more likely if they adopted the strategy they did. Barrichello is a great driver, as is Button, they both proved their worth, but against a talented driver like Rosberg, especially at the Barca track you can’t assume that Jensen would have overtaken him.

  95. There is a lot to this story we don’t know, especially the relationship between Ross Brawn and Barrichello. Clearley the former holds the latter in high regard, probably due to his years playing second fiddle to Schumacher and sacrificing races because of his strategy, and was brave to give Barrichello a seat this year, considering the team’s lack of cash and Barrichello being on the verge of retirement and with no sponsorship. Brawn clearley feel indebt to Barrichello, and probably said something along the lines of “what happened at Ferrari won’t repeat again”. This is what makes the comments that Barrichello has been saying to the brazilian press so fiery. It’s somewhat logical that Button should be getting better treatment; he’s the leader with a 14 point advantage and four wins in five races, and a podium appearance in all. He is the better driver this year. If this Ferrari, they would have just told Barrichello to shut up and sit down.

    There’s a lot we don’t know.

  96. 1994fanatic
    11th May 2009, 15:22

    Hell yeah Brawn wanted Button to win. It’s a real shame I don’t know if F1 will be shown in my house anymore because of all the politics. It’s ********!

  97. Well, if the team really sabotaged Barrichello’s drive, they didn’t do it by messing up his strategy, but rather his tyres. The drop in pace following his second pitstop is remarkable, and there seems to be no other explanation than that his tires didn’t work (as he suggested himself) or that a problem developed with the car (as suggested by the fact that his lap times never recovered after his third stop). Indeed, if Barrichello had driven the exact same laptimes he drove in his second stint in his third stint, he would have ended up comfortably in front of button after his third stop. They even told Button so over the radio: [quote from FIA post-race press conference] <> If true, this indicates that Button’s engineers at that point did believe Rubens was having theadvantage.

    The main reason for Barrichello not to copy Button’s strategy is that this would ave left him immediately behind Rosberg on track, which would have left him held up in dirty air, losing time and wasting his tyres, all of which actually would have played into Button’s hand.
    Also note that Button’s laptimes in his second stint, especially during the first part, were amazing, considering the large fuel penalty of Circuit de Catalunya, and he still managed to keep his tyres together for some consistently fast laps in the second half of his stint.
    The only doubtful aspect of the three-stop strategy is the problems which Rubens encountered with traffic, which he admitted was the reason for pitting a couple of laps earlier in his third stint. But here, we must keep in mind that we had this many cars being lapped, and particularly, beng lapped this early on in the race. Possibly, Brawn had assumed that a 3-stop strategy wouldn’t run into backmarkers until later on.
    On the other hand, it kept Ruben’s car well clear of all the slow, midfield stayers, which have been a more important factor in spoiling others’ race strategies so far this season (Alonso, Piquet, Hamilton, Heidfeld).
    Also, later on in a race, the field tends to spread out and due to this and the effect of marbles discouraging overtaking manoeuvres, we statistically see many less incidents prompting the entry of the safety car later in the race that earlier on. Therefore, there is little reason in preferring lesser stops halfway down the road, unless the SC appears, the weather interferes, or the on-track situation becomes unfavourable – as in Button’s case.

    All in all, I do believe that either tyres or a minor technical problem were to blame, along with a misjudgment by the team of the backmarkers’ racepace and an absolutely superb drive by Button in his middle stint. If it wasn’t for these factors, the only threat for Rubens would’ve been Jenson’s slightly superior pace on the harder tyre, probably insufficient to close the gap that would’ve opened and overtake him in the dozen or so laps that would’ve remained.

    But is there really a motive for Brawn intending so? Yes, but not a strong one. This ‘poor strategy’ ran the risk of letting Mark webber get by towards the end, which would’ve meant surrendering constructors points to RedBull. I think that would be enough of a reason to drop it from consideration for Ross Brawn.
    Also, back then Ross did it because Schumacher’s and Barrichello’s contracts put the former in a position to demand any favour possible from the team, and from the latter, so back then it was not necessarily Brawn’s decision to do that, more likely that of Michael and/or Jean Todt. Currently, it seems that neither Button nor Barrichello has any clauses of that nature, that they are cooperating on telemetry, and that Brawn doesn’t seem to favour either driver. Keeping in mind that barrichello still is title contender nubmer 2, a valuable and quick Button, and knowledgeable on car development (an priceless skill in teh test-ban age), I believe Brawn would want to risk alienating him.

    So, did Brawn deliberately give Barrichello a poor strategy to let Button win? As far as I can see, no.

    1. Sorry, forgot to mention that Rubens’ pace problem will have exacerbated his problem with bacmarkers, since, if you are slower, you end up driving in theri dirty air for a longer period of time (a few turns more each time adds up to quite a bit) before you get flagged past by the marshalls.

  98. Aquatic Mammal
    11th May 2009, 16:01

    Isn’t it the case that after his first stop, Rubens came out only just ahead of Nico, then scampered off? If Brawn had put more fuel in to Rubens to move him onto a two stop strategy, he would have come out behind the Williams and been compromised.

    If Rubens had been able to get his thrid set of boots warmed up, he would have beaten Jenson who was stuck behind Nico for a time.

    I believe Ross Brawn. Rubens is just hacked off because without his set up data, Jenson would have been a as slow as a milepost.


    1. Well, Button was behind Rosberg too, but if you go long you don’t need to go very fast. The problem would have been when Rubens would have been behind Rosberg while needing to drive fast laps.

      Probably they gave Rubens a short stint exactly for the same reason (ie less fuel so he would come right in front of Rosberg)

  99. I guess ultimately this means the honeymoon is over!

  100. Hope I havent sent this twice. ugh. Apologies if so. Its all about tyres this year, KERS and DD are red herrings. Spain was to be the big challenge for Brawn when everyone else caught up. What would you do? As he told us, Ross put his trust in the experienced Rubens this time rather than the relatively unknown to him JB but JB can get more out of his tyres. Watch this space. though, this time it was no more Mr Stylish, JB can push

  101. They better let Rubens win in Brazil!

  102. Why wasn’t Barichello told that Button’s strategy was being changed. Since he was effectively fighting Button, he had to know that as he could have decided to lenghten one of his stints. But leaving him blind during the moment Button’s strategy was changed all but ruined his options.

  103. A little bit more on this in the post-race analysis:

    even if [Barricehllo] had been on the pace in his third stint, when he struggled with his tyres, he would likely have got stuck behind Massa and Vettel. This makes the decision to keep him on a three-stopper harder to understand.

    Charts here: Webber’s fine drive and Rosberg’s troubles (Spanish Grand Prix analysis)

    1. The way the race unfolded, yes, that would have happened, but obviously the race didn´t unfold the way Brawn expected (Rubens ahead of Jenson at the start, Jenson ending up behind Rosberg after his first stop). RedBull made the same gamble with Webber as Brawn with Vettel, and actually put in pretty much the same lap times over that looong middle stint. (on the side: why arent all these bloggers screaming hell of RedBull ´obviously favouring´ Webber, especially as they screwed up way bigger with Vettel – being simply outwitted on tactics by Ferrari – than many suggest Brawn did with Barrichello?) This shows that Vettel would have been capable of the same with a clear track, which he would have had if it wasn´t for Ferrari calling Massa in early – at the same time as Vettel, that is – in order to defend track position.
      That means Barrichello actually wouldnt have been held up by Vettel, because he would have been further ahead racing him for the victory (as Brawn expected comparable laptimes from the RB Barrichello wouldnt have caught him even if Vettel had made a longer second stint, which Brawn obviously were surprised they didnt, reference to which is made elsewhere here).
      It also means that Barrichello wouldnt have been held up by Massa, because, if Massa had stayed out longer for his first stint, he would have optimised his laptimes better (whilst sacrificing track position to Vettel) – just give him 3 more laps in his lapchart which are on pace with his best first stint laps, and subtract .1 of a second from his remainging second stint laps because his tyres wouldve been less worn over the slightly shorter distance on the slightly lower fuel weight, and because he wouldnt have to drive defensive lines… we didnt get to see much of the two of them but surely Massa has been looking in his rear view mirrors more than once. That would have put him some 3-4 seconds further ahead, for some 9 in total, of Barrichello.
      Barrichello, of course, was hoping to be gain 12 seconds on the duo during the course of his 3rd stint – with them lapping at roughly the same pace as button throughout their shorter middle stint – but he would still not have caught them as they were to pit only halfway the duration of his projected 3rd stint, which was cut short by 3 or 4 laps due to traffic. Even if massa had pitted 4 laps later, barrichello would have had him just under 2 seconds ahead of him by the time the ferrari would have pitted (in this hypothetical scenario Vettel would necessarily have gotten past the ferrari by virtue of pitting earlier for his first stop). Just do the maths, like Matt did, i gave my interpretation of what the numbers (laptimes of Barrichello) should be in response to his post.

      I know the list of factos that are changed from reality is enormous, and at this level the discussion is all becoming extremely hypothetical, but that is why F1 teams hire crews of specialist engineers and game-theorists to work highly complex computer models for predicting the race unfolding and making strategic and tactical decisions. If you want to challenge the quality of a strategy (Barrichello´s) on paper (not the way it worked out in practice), you have to come up with arguments that provide for the same number of variables as these professionals do.

  104. I believe without a doubt that Button had priority, and once the team realized that Rubens had him beaten, they changed things up. It’s how Ross Brawn worked with the team at Ferrari, and old habits never die easily….

  105. “Did Brawn deliberately give Barrichello a poor strategy to let Button win?”


  106. As for all who point to Brawn being the only team planning for a regular 3-stop strategy (Nakajima pitted an extra time for his frontwing), I think there may even be an acceptable explanation for that.

    We have seen that the Brawns are very light on the tyres: they have problems getting them up to temperature during qualy and on tracks where we´ve seen tyre wear issues they´ve been amongst those with the least problems. This means that their car favours softer tyre compounds compared to the other cars, whilst the harder compound gives them a larger drop in performance perhaps than with other team ( i didnt chekc this with lap times, just a gut feeling).
    Therefore, they might have stood to benefit from a 3-stop strategy where others (read: RB) didnt.
    For teams further down the grid, more stops is simplpy not an option since they wont run on free track. They can only stick to the pace of cars around them, or go longhaul to lose time but gain track position.

  107. Remember­ last year, last race, last corner? Remember how both­ Toyotas posting almost identical times on that last lap­ to use as evidence that there was no foul­ play?

    Remember the year before, the 17 points gap that­ evapourated within two races? I speculate Mr E promised­ Ferrari the title in return for keeping the McLaren­ drivers in the show and how Kimi didn’t even look­ excited by achieving his dream of becoming a world­ champion?

    Do­ you remember when three drivers (not sure but I think­ in ’97 MS, JV and Frenzen) posted +0.000 in­ qualifying and Murry had to say “trust me there is­ no fix”???

    Did you notice how surprised Button­ was when he got pole position yesterday when he clearly­ didn’t expected?

    I bet Button asked for #1­ status in return for his 50% pay cut. I bet Ruben was­ told whoever is on Pole would be allowed to win the­ hence his BIG shock yesterday. I bet Mr E manipulated­ the Button’s time yesterday.

    Nick Fry said: “We had to split the strategy”
    Rubens didn’t have a choice to switch to 2 stopper.

    Please­ prove me wrong just so I can enjoy real F1 again­ :(


    1. How? How on earth would Mr E manipulate Jenson’s lap time?

      To suggest that belittles the fantastic job that Jenson is doing this year and shows how little you think of the sport…

    2. hahahahhaha LOL seriously Ali you should sign up with MI6 or start writing espionage thrillers! hahaha ROFL

    3. Ali you have spotted some of the things that dimwitted f1 fans ignore. i agree with you. especially the 17 point lead & the 3 identical lap time at jerez. maybe MR.B bribed people from siemens,olivetti & tag heuer to manipulate lap time counters. i wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done that. u have hit the nail on the head ali g.

  108. No one seems to factor in the safety car period. Once the safety car was deployed 2-stop strategy becomes the better one.


    1. Well it would have been close, A 3-stop strategy would potentially have been faster.

      What went wrong is that his second stint was too short and his third too slow. A properly executed 3 stop strategy would have worked. Barrichello also would not have encountered traffic.

      I drew a lap chart, duplicated Barrichello’s second stint and stretched it with fuel corrected laptimes for the first few laps. It would have been very close.

      If Barrichello’s first stint would have been slightly longer he could have pulled it of.

  109. As a very ardent F1 fan, In myn opinion without any doubt , brawn wanted the winner to be Button , ,poor Rubens has been made a scapegoat once again . Rubens has been a very consistent driver , and if he should leave Brawn They will have a heck of a job to find another driver like Rubens. So Brawn take good care of Rubens in the future!!!!!!!!!!!

  110. Adrian, very easy to manipulate the times, just pause for .01 every 10sec and no onw would notice. And before you jump up and down in anger please tell us if this is feasabile or not. Software has lot’s backdoors you know ;)

    The biggest evidence was Trulli’s and Glock’s similar lap times last year last race last lap. The chance of two identical cars driven by different drivers in rainy conditions that has just worsened significantly on that last lap (so they say) as the previous lap times were >15s faster IS IMPOSSIBLE to happen especially with the Trulli Train my friend.

    Just re-watch Button’s reaction to having got pole and see how surprised he was to have posted such a time.

    Anyway the headlines says it all: Button Steals Win which I bet my life on he did even and he knows it and that’s why he was very apologetic to poor Rubens.

    And to add even more evidence if you can read between the lines which I am sure you can if you want to, read what Ross Brawn was saying that Rubens is a “team player”.

    I do believe in team orders (McLaren lost 2007 for not using them and Ferrari lost 2008 for not using them) and what BrawnGP are doing is very correct for the team but to do it in such a snaky way show big disrespect to Rubens, especially I am sure it was not in line with Rubens contract terms.

    They robed Rubens, That’s for sure.

    God > infinity

    1. I didn’t know that Rubens wore a robe.

      BTW what’s cut is that “they” can manipulate lap times, but still “they” allow Barrichello to pass Button to begin with? Among all the other nonsense, this might be the biggest one.

    2. wow, eehhh, uhm, this is…. you were actually serious about that post above?

      Well in theory, it is quite easy to create a 0.1% error on timing and hope no-one notices, however, there are a number of issues with it:
      1 0.1% is really not that significant on a qualification lap… it is 0.081 of a second on a flying lap.
      2 each team could see whether its times are being manipulated since they draw data that is timed independently from race timing.
      3 Bernie cannot do it, since the FOM is not responsible for race timing.
      4 Adjustments cannot be done for just one lap of one driver. Loading changes into the system would cause a minimal, but highly noticeable instantaneous delay to timing.
      5 Most likely, the timing systems at tracks are not capable of doing this, since they will lack processing software to do this. The timing system is highly precise, but processing is rather rudimentary; the processor isnt going to more advanced than the one in your cellphone. Thus, the processing unit would have to be replaced for it
      6 if you run this small error for the entire length of a qualication or a race, you end up with cars ´traveling in time and spatial dimensions we cannot observe´; a car will be lapping ´ahead´ of another car even though his sector times appear later and he is visibly behind the other car on track (with 100000 witnesses present). One car during the session or the race might be flagged off because the session is time over, while the car behind him is not flagged and can continue for antoher lap.

      Most likely you can come up with other presumptions that explain how Bernie muffled these away, and to help you, I might suggest Michael schumacher´s supernatural powers, fake races on secret hidden copies of the F1 tracks in North Korea with cloned drivers where tv-footage is shot that matches Bernie´s timing trickery, oh and of course, extraterrestial powers might have interfered in Button´s favour, becose these aliens come from a galaxy that lies within his constellation. Does that answer all your questions?

      As for your Glock conspiracy, I really don´t understand what you are referring to with ´both Toyota´s doing the same laptimes and dropping more than 15 seconds´or whatever… anyway keep in mind Glock was on different tyres than Trulli. Trulli and Hamilton had pitted along with everyone else, but Glock had gambled and stayed out on his slicks. Conditions worsened, as you say, and this favoured everyone except Glock. Thus Vettel and Hamilton managed to ease by (look back at the footage and notice the river forming in Juncao corner as hamilton passes Glock – the latter didnt have any traction out there, and hence lost a lot of speed coming up the banking). Trulli made a mistake early in sector 3 in the final lap, just check sector times, and btw, if conditions did not worsen (i propose you ask all crew/drivers/100000 attendants of that race if they felt there was more rain and they will tell you yes, leaving you to decide whether Bernie bribed all of them into doing so) then all the drivers must have deliberately slowed down so as to aid Bernie in his plot. You thought that one could not see a 15 second difference between a real car crossing the line and his slowed down computer timing mirror? I think i can…thats basically the entire length of that banked section under dry circumstances.

      I guess watchin Formula 1 races must be much more exciting to you with all this intriguing manipulation going on!!!

  111. I think the issue is if Brawn deliberately did it or if it was a consequence of not looking out for Barichello.
    After Barichello got past Button at the start, the whole team probably went into save Button mode, and forgot about Barichello. They just assumed his strategy was the best without evaluating the changing track dynamics, safety car, track and air temperature, back markers and so fort. The consequence was that in looking out to optimize Button’s race Barichello was abandoned.

    Having your team telling you to go faster when obviously your car is unable to, is no different from having your team telling you to save fuel after not filling your car with sufficient fuel to go the distance.

    As we have witnessed in the past, with the tyre rules, while the track is still a bit green, it might be advantageous to run lighter, but as the track rubbers in, that advantage is eroded. And seeing that Barichello stopped the lap after Button after the first stint, how on earth was Brawn planning to keep them on 3 stoppers if Button had been ahead?

    I can only conclude that BrawnGP was planning a 2 stop strategy for Button from the word go, but had kept the option of going for a 3 stopper in order to get pole. Track conditions was to determine if they kept with the 2 stopper or change to the 3stopper. Because we’ve seen from the early races, that the Brawn cars can maintain a very good pace on a heavy fuel load.

    1. Everything points to Button planning a 3 stop strategy…remember he would have been up front from pole, running away with his lighter car an no problems with Rubens in front of him and getting stuck behind Rosberg. He pitted even before Barrichello and its easy to see how a 30 lap middle stint is not optimising raw speed.

      Also, they didnt forget about Barrichello. In a team, you have two drivers, two engineers, two crews…These two were competing on track, each trying to outpace and outsmart the other. Before the race the team works out jointly whats the best strategy and what are possible alternatives (Plan A,B,C), after that, they are racing each other and Rubens and his engineer and Jenson and his engineer can switch plans independently when they feel the situation requires it.

      Button would have benefited from his 3 stop strategy more even that Rubens could have if he had had clear track from the start. Instead, he had to do a couple of laps behind the SC, which eroded his advantage, and then he was stuck behind his teammate (with less fuel on board he sould have been a tad faster, and he commented over the radio that he felt held up by Rubens early on). with no safety car and rubens ahead, he would have opened up more of a gap, pitted earlier (becuase in those SC laps they all save as much fuel as possible) and still come out well ahead of Rosberg. Barrichello, hopefully in second by then, would inherit the lead, pit a lap later and come back on track very near Button, also well ahead of Rosberg. A 2 stopper would have brought both of them either just before or just behind rosberg (if the latter hadnt had a few bad laps in his first stint). Its only because the few extra laps that Button had on his first stint that a two stopper became a viable option, since a longer second stint would have eroded tyres too much and otherwise the stint on the prime wouldve been too long. Rubens adapted the extra laps he had on his first stint for a shorter second stint, in order to still get ahead of Rosberg. Button could also have done that, had he been up front and only slightly faster than Barrichello.

  112. I can’t see how the safety car period would effect Rubens strategy? How much fuel do you use behind a safety car. He came in 2 laps later than predicted and didn’t they spend 2 laps behind the safety car?
    Surely this removed 2 laps of green flag racing from the race, reducing the amount of time all the drivers would spend on the harder tyres. I would have thought this would be a benefit.

    IMHO – If Button was leading they would have kept him on a 3 stop and switched Rubens to a 2 stop. The driver closer to Massa \ Vettel needed to keep track position to get the best result for the team. Maybe Brawn thought that overtaking would be easier this year and expected drivers to make more passes. Hence, splitting the strategy and trying to keep the optimal pre-calculated strategy on its leading driver.

    In the end passing amongst the leading drivers was minimal again at Barcelona. This helped Brawn, but was unknown. If Brawn knew that passing was just as poor as previous seasons he would have gone for 2 stops for both drivers.

  113. Unfortunately I’m pretty sure they did want Button to win, only Brawn was more discrete, more intelligent than he was in Ferrari days… well, I just hope I’m wrong about It, but that’s what I feel…

  114. This is Keith’s superb site where facts and reality come first, last and in the middle too. None of us should react like paid up members of the Magic Circle, there are other sites for fairy tales and myth. We all saw what happened, know the lap times, know that JB did a great job with his tyres and RB tried his best but somehow it did not work out. No-one was more surprised at the outcome than Ross Brawn.

    1. All Brawn staff member’s reactin was fake.

      How do you explain Nick Fry saying “We had to split the strategies” emphasis on the word “split”. This vetoed Ruben desire to do 2 stops.

      And why would Ruben has to stop so soon after button.

      All this reminds me of when Ferrari “mis-placed” one of Irvie’s tyres in 1999 so he doesn’t win the chapionship.

      And yes indeed this site is for truth tellers not for truth coverers.

      Falsehood’s become true … and chaos has spread
      Liars are upheld … and good mouths are well weld

      Wisdom deserted all … but a sleepless few
      Trance became the norm … and to reality blindness wed

      No freethinking is left … so long as they were fed
      Sleeping most became … in a rented bed

      Wake up and uphold … what God’s always said:
      Don’t step over others … to reach a higher end
      Love each other so … to the Truth you’d be led

      Ali Adams 2006

    2. @ Ali

      They ‘had to split the strategy’ because the track situation did not allow for a three stopp strategy for both drivers, because otherwise Button woudlve lost too much time…
      Barrichello would not have wanted the 2-stop strategy because it would have locked him away right behind Rosberg for a couple of laps, AND because it was slower in the first place.
      Saying that the team hid Buttons two stop strategy switch from Barrichello until after his stopp, in order to get Button to win the race, is paranoid. But suggestin that they vetoed Rubens’ request for the same switch is quite simply an insane assumption.
      IF they’d said ‘NO’ to a RB request for a two stopper, you think he would react like that after the race? and do you think we wouldnt have heard some talk of it over the radio on tv?

      Now do you really think that of all the Brawn ppl that weve seen talking to the press, it would be Nick Fry who would be the bad liar? Come on.

      If F1 is really that bad and evil etc. according to you, stop watching, stop reading, stop bothering us.

  115. I wish I could stop watching it. It is addiction.
    I was not referring to Nick Fry as a liar but to you and those like you (British mainly) as truth coverers and deep down you know it that BrawnGP made sure Rubens doesn’t win (and I agree with them by the way) but covered it in a series of very thinly veiled orchestrated lies (Ross saying Rubens is team player suggest he told him the financial implications for the team and Ruben agreed, and Nick Fry saying we HAD TO SPLIT the strategy was slip off and he probably got a gentle slap for it from Ross. So Nick was the most truthful of all the liars :)

    Now if you don’t like my comments, don’t read and reply mate.


    Now, where do I always see the opposite? 


  116. brawn wanted Barich second & thats that, keeps it consistant.. 1 word hopeless

  117. Rubens is our real champion!

  118. I too agree with Adam, while there is reason to question why Brawn didn’t switch Rubens to the same strategy as Button the idea that it was a calculated move to sabotage Rubens race that several people have suggested is frankly ludicrous.

    Brawn had made clear that there was no preferential treatment given to either of the drivers at this point in the season, although this is not even something he should have needed to say. At this point in the season it would have been very foolhardy to favour one driver, as Button could easily have had a horrific crash and been injured for half the season.

    Also as someone else previously pointed out both drivers were put on a three stop as this is the fastest strategy. If you look at the graphs that Keith has kindly uploaded you can see clearly that Rubens was over 1 second per lap quicker than Jenson in stint 2 building up a 13 second lead that he hadn’t been able to when they were on identical strategies.

    If he had continued this pace after his second stop with fresh tires and equal fuel to Jenson then he would have been right on Button’s tail a few laps before Jenson’s second stop and his third. Having caught button he could have conserved fuel behind him and then would then have had 1-2 laps on his far better soft tires while Jenson had switched to the hard. Had Rubens finished his third stint with high 1:22s rather than mid 1:23s it would then have given him 2-4 seconds over Button between the pit stops and thus given him track position with fresher tires for the final stint, which would have been the best position to be in.

    So Brawn had no reason to believe that Button’s strategy would give him an advantage to Barrichello, instead it was merely a good way of achieving a 1-2 finish with Button behind Rubens as Rosberg was a potential problem for a three stop srtrategy, as he explained clearly after the race and was evident when Rubens came out with no track behind him after his first stop.

    I see no reason to doubt Brawn’s intentions. I imagine were I a team leader/head of strategy and the optimum strategy for both my drivers wasn’t working for the one behind, then it would make sense to try to avoid problems by switching the second driver to an inferior strategy. Even if, as was the case, that it is not the optimum one and is likely to lose him some time compared to a three stop on an open track.

    Why then would I trouble my driver who is leading the GP saying, “We had to switch your teammate to an inferior two stop because three stop wouldn’t work for him with other cars on the track?” If you thought three stop was faster before the race, which before the first stops they did (and until after Rubens’ second stop where his lap times were pretty poor looked to have been vindicated) surely the best option for Rubens was to keep him on the three stop, rather than confuse him with an unnecessary information or option to switch to a new and clearly inferior strategy that he wasn’t expecting and that wasn’t necessary?

    Why switch Rubens to an inferior strategy that would increase the chances of him being on the same part of the track to Button and increase the chances of the drivers colliding?

    If anything by switching Jenson to an inferior strategy as well as optimising the opportunity for a 1-2 the strategist had given the drivers the fairest chance to win on merit. As Jenson had the opportunity to beat Rubens if he was consistently faster on a weaker strategy, equally Rubens had the perfect opportunity to beat Jenson comfortably without any need to overtake him again on track and with a slight advantage in terms of strategy.

    All the data shows that if Rubens had done a good third stint, that the car was capable of he would have won the race comfortably without needing to be a faster driver than Jenson.

    People who wish to think otherwise are in my opinion rather over skeptical and perhaps should realise that Rubens is ageing and so it is probable that his stamina and focus throughout an endurance race may not be what it once was. Also Jenson is a far better diver than he is given credit for.

    If you still don’t believe me, or haven’t bothered to read what I wrote. This should make it clear to you in two lines that Rubens was outperformed. On an identical fuel load and 12 lap fresher soft tires tires he averaged 1-2 tenths of a second slower than Button in the second stint and the same is true of the harder tires.

    These are the only points in the race where you can compare the two drivers pace as before they were together on track or on different fuel loads and so Rubens was faster because he was lighter or because he was holding Jenson up.

    Basically Jenson was consistently faster than Rubens throughout the weekend, and had he not had the average start and been slipstreamed by Rubens down to turn one this foolish debate would not even be happening. Jenson deserved to win and Rubens did not he was the slower driver and was clearly holding Jenson up in the first stint.

    I urge you all doubters to look at the data you have been provided and realise the clear facts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.