Rubens Barrichello lashes out after Brawn strategy costs him more points

Rubens Barrichello slammed his Brawn team after falling from first to sixth during the German Grand Prix:

There was a great show from the team today of how to lose a race. I did all I could today, I got first at the first corner, and they made me lose the race.

He added:

If we keep going like this we’re going to lose both championships.

To be very honest with you I wish I could get on a plane and just go home, because when I go to the team afterwards there will be a lot of ‘blah, blah, blah’ and I don’t want to hear that right now.

Barrichello took the lead from Mark Webber at the start and had a further boost when Webber received a drive-through penalty. Despite that he ended the race sixth, 24 seconds behind Webber.

How did it happen?

He lost a lot of time in his second stint getting stuck behind Felipe Massa. That allowed Webber to recover the deficit from his penalty.

More problems awaited him at his second stop, where his fuel rig didn’t work, forcing the team to use his backup rig. That allowed them to get some fuel in the car – but not enough.

That left the Brawns running line astern, Barrichello ahead, with Button behind him. Button stopped one lap later than Barrichello, and duly took the place of his team mate.

Barrichello’s final stop came ten laps before the end of the race. If the team didn’t bring him in at the last possible moment, he could realistically claim that cost him the chance to say ahead of Button. But without knowing how much fuel they actually got into his car it’s impossible to say.

Given the championship situation many will draw the conclusion that Brawn are favouring Button over his team mate. But when asked if that was the case, Barrichello denied it. On the face of it, it looks as though he was just been unlucky.

There were similar questions over Brawn’s strategy at the Spanish Grand Prix, when Barrichello lost the race to Button.

What do you think about Barrichello’s outburst? Did Brawn get his strategy wrong, or have they made a conscious decision to favour Button? Have your say below.

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

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121 comments on Rubens Barrichello lashes out after Brawn strategy costs him more points

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  1. Vetalonton said on 12th July 2009, 15:39

    Good on Rubens. Ross Brawn needs to know he should let his drivers race.

    • PrisonerMonkeys said on 13th July 2009, 6:26

      He does. The problem is that Rubens Barrichello can’t produce the goods.

      • Maksutov said on 13th July 2009, 7:44

        I must agree with PrisonerMonkeys, Barrichello simply can not deliver and he must mouth off at his team and team mate all the time.

        German GP was lost for Barrichello when he got stuck behind Massa. The extra time lost due to the fuel rig problem wouldn’t have made any difference since he was on a 3 stop to begin with.

        I feel little sorry for Barrichello in terms of the bad luck that he sometimes gets. But his constant mouthing off against his team mate and his team and bloody TEAM ORDERs is bull. Clearly he was never as good driver as any of his team mates. Thats fact.

        • Mike said on 13th July 2009, 13:45

          I second that, I think Rubens did have some bad luck during the race but he seems to lack the consistency of fast pace that Button has and I think that’s why the championship standings are what they are and why Rubens hasn’t won in a Brawn yet

  2. Barrichello’s outburst: Uncalled for

    Brawn strategy: Wrong for both drivers

    • mp4-19b said on 14th July 2009, 3:36

      agreed.but we got to accept that red bull have overtaken brawn in terms of pure pace. even if brawn had produced a flawless pit stop for rubens, i doubt wheter he would have won the race.

  3. John H said on 12th July 2009, 15:43

    This, I’m afraid, is the sound of a man following Schumacher for many years and now being totally unreasonable with his judgement as a result.

    Who cares if he got to the first corner first, the tyres were getting mashed and he got some bad luck with the fuel rig (no, Brawn didn’t sabotage the fuel rig).

    Very bad behaviour by Brawn.

    • John H said on 12th July 2009, 15:44

      Very bad behaviour by Rubens… sorry! :)

    • Senor Paz said on 13th July 2009, 7:24

      His anger is perfectly justifiable.

      Brawn GP’s first mistake was to feed Rubens back from his first pitstop right behind Felipe, which cost him a hell of a lot of time. Surely the team would have tried to avoid this by fuelling him lighter, if necessary. He was on a 3-stopper after all, there was plenty of room in terms of strategy. My guess is that the mechanics took a second too long during the pit work, enough to compromise his chances of a podium.

      Then there was the incident with the fuel rig, which cost him another 5 seconds. This is the first incident of this kind we’ve seen with Brawn and… well, it had to happen with Rubens.

      To make things worse he also had to surrender his position to his teammate, something that would not have happened unless Jenson was directly behind Rubens.

      I think I’d be pretty bloody furious as well.

    • Maksutov said on 13th July 2009, 7:47

      sorry John H. He did not “follow” Schumacher by orders. He simply could not keep up with Schumacher. And thats fact.

      Barrichello is frustrated because he is trying to constantly prove he is better than his team mate but he clearly is not.

      • John H said on 13th July 2009, 13:12

        Indeed. That’s what I meant really.

      • mp4-19b said on 14th July 2009, 3:40

        i think this is the second time we are having a debate as to wheter brawn sabotaged rubens’ race. the first being at the spanish gp. rubens ,for all the talent he’s got has always been overshadowed by his team mates, be it irvine,herbert,shoemaker & now button. he was never a forceful character & lacked that killer instinct, so no he’s getting what he deserves thats all.

      • J.A.B..ESQ said on 1st August 2009, 13:13

        Agree – Rubens Barrichello is and always has been a No2 driver. His outbursts are uncalled for and should be kept between himself and his team.

  4. Joe Smith said on 12th July 2009, 15:43

    Barichello should stop moaning and learn how to overtake, Button made at least three overtakes during the race!!!

  5. LynnD said on 12th July 2009, 15:44

    I think Rubinho will be apologising fairly soon, and that Ross will accept it and let him off with a warning. He’s just a hot-headed Latin.

    Here’s a thing though: why are all the drivers talking about themselves in the plural? I’m listening to Fernando at the moment talking about how “we had problems with the tyres” blah blah; Lewis was at it earlier too. Is this a royal “we” or are the drivers so determined to show that they are part of a team that they’re shoe-horning it in like this?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2009, 15:49

      Perhaps they are all members of the British royal family?

    • Patrickl said on 12th July 2009, 17:29

      They are told that they are part of a team. At the very least the driver plus his team of mechanics.

    • Tiomkin said on 12th July 2009, 19:17

      A driver on his own couldn’t win a race. The Team makes it happen. The Driver is just the last link in the chain.

      To clarify, He needs someone to build, develop, service and look after the car.

      So yes, it is ‘we’.

      • No, it’s we when it’s something bad.
        When it’s something good it’s I.
        At least for Fernando.

        • Patrickl said on 12th July 2009, 21:18

          Lol, really? Never noticed that.

          I think the first time they started saying “we”, was during the early nineties. Or at least that’s when I started noticing it.

        • Maksutov said on 13th July 2009, 7:49

          haha, true that.

    • Phast said on 13th July 2009, 12:24

      I am sure it is very frustrating for him but he has been around long enough to know better.

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2009, 15:46

    Ross Brawn has this to say:

    When he looks at the numbers he’ll realise we were too slow today.

    It wasn’t a great race. I think we were trying too hard to come up with strategy solutions for out lack of performance.

    Rubens was struggling with his radio – he wasn’t getting the full briefings he usually does and we weren’t able to put him in the full picture.

    • persempre said on 12th July 2009, 18:27

      Ermm – A dodgy radio was always a favourite of Rubens when he didn’t want to hear ;)

      Ross knows him of old so will know how to handle it.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2009, 19:14

        Good thing his radio was working at Austria in 2002…

        • persempre said on 12th July 2009, 20:33

          lol – Yes, Keith.
          Shame that he ignored the call for 8 laps, created a drama & was responsible for the introduction of a knee-jerk, unnecessary & unpoliceable rule to be introduced. So who benefitted – nobody.
          Rubens also had a race or two when he was more than happy to have the win gifted him (eg US 2002). I didn’t see him complain then but neither did his teammate.

          I actually like Rubens but the teams pays your wages & they deserve respect. It doesn’t which team it is.

  7. Xanathos said on 12th July 2009, 15:48

    One question remains: If there really was a problem with the fuel rig, why not make a 15s-pit stop and fuel Rubens to the end? They screwed him up by forcing him to do an extra stop.
    Normally I’d say that he was just unlucky, but he is unlucky a bit too often…it begins to stink…

    • I believe the rig is pre loaded with the chosen fuel amount before its placed onto the car, its not like a petrol station with a trigger ;-)

      • Xanathos said on 12th July 2009, 16:30

        That would make it even worse.
        If that would be the case, they had planned to switch him to a 3-stopper already

      • Adrian said on 13th July 2009, 9:40

        That’s correct. Ruben’s rig will have been set with fuel to switch him onto a 2-stopper if that was their plan (which I believe it was). The backup fueler obviously didn’t have as much fuel in it (may have been loaded ready for Jenson’s stop the following lap)…

    • Patrickl said on 12th July 2009, 17:31

      Who says they wanted to convert him to a two stop?

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2009, 19:15

        On the radio during the race he asked if he was fuelled to the end, and the team said no because of the problem with the rig.

        • Patrickl said on 12th July 2009, 21:23

          What I understood was that, the team said that he was not fuelled till the end BUT that there was a problem with the fuel rig.

          ie an explanation that the stop didn’t take long because of a lot of fuel but because of a technical problem.

  8. Mav said on 12th July 2009, 15:50

    I totally agree with Rubens, he doesn’t want to be #2, so he expresses it.
    Every race Barrichello is in front of Button, the team either screws up or they switch strategy in favor of Button…I’m sick of that.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve absolutely nothing against Button and Brawn, but I think Barrichello just doesn’t deserve that kind of “treatment”.

    • Maksutov said on 13th July 2009, 8:00

      Well I disagree respectfully. It may appear that team is muddling things up, but it comes down to the driver and his consistency.

      Rubens doesn’t want to be #2, but clearly he “is”. And its not by force but it is by fact. He is simply not as good as his team mate. Rubens may be able to pull out a hot lap even the fastest lap every now and then or qualify well, but he is not consistent, and he does not take all matters inconsideration when he drives. Like conservation of tyres, tyre choice, initial fuel strategy decision. Every driver is given the choice and input in their strategy. but he simply likes to blame others if his team mate beats him.

  9. Yorricksfriend said on 12th July 2009, 15:56

    Goodbye Rubens, think you should start looking through the help wanted section of the newspaper

  10. Hammad said on 12th July 2009, 16:00

    I agree with Rubens… but his outburst was uncalled for. This should be discussed privately, not publicly..

    • just me said on 13th July 2009, 20:00

      I too have lots of sympathy for Rubens. He is certainly a top class driver, but has never made it into the very top. Now, with his “biological clock” ticking he senses that this season in a top car is likely his last chance to shine and fulfil his life’s ambition.

      The race started great for him – he must have been ecstatic during his first stint – just to find himself parked behind Massa with his “special button” during the 2nd. Anger and frustration builds up. Then the 2nd stop – more disaster. And finally the last and most hurting blow: the 3rd stop and losing his position to the ONE person on the grid he fears and envies most – Jensen, who stated behind him (even in his anger he implied no deliberate team “orders”).

      His outburst is the final product of physical exhaustion after a race, emotional drain from a high during the first stint to a rock-bottom-low at the finish, aggravated by the realisation that the car now lost it’s superiority on the grid (at least during cold weather condtions) and his chances for a few wins this season are rapidly dwindling down to zip.
      Given this state of mind, his post-race interview was actually very ‘controlled’. The “worst” thing he said was just ” … a show of how to lose a race”. I certainly would have put in a few f*** words there somewhere …

      This is it. This is deep. The reality of the end of his career is ‘slowly’ sinking into his mind. He may hang on to it for a while longer, but I think this was a deciding race for him. I expect a broken Rubens from now on.

      Even with Ross’ ever well-tempered damage-control after Rubens’ sharing of his emotional post-race state with the ‘unforgiving’ world, I think lots of emotional damage was done both on Ruben’s and his team’s side. Rubens may have ended his career right there, unnecessarily. A rift like that won’t heal in a fortnight and now is the prime time for negotiating seats for next year.

      Farewell Rubens.

  11. Funny how so many drivers are criticised for being corporate mouthpieces who don’t express their own views, but when a driver dares to speak out against the “party line” of his team, he’s blasted for being irrational and unfair on the team.

    • saab said on 12th July 2009, 16:06

      It’s one thing to be constructive in ones criticism and show some sort of spirited personality – another to always whine and blame something/someone else without actually having any evidence or showing a way forward. He is just overall slower than Button whan it counts. What can the team do about that?

    • Lvcivs said on 12th July 2009, 16:16


      Points to think about: Couldn’t the team predict where would he return and try to do something about it?

      After so many problems with the rear soft tyres going out so fast, it was a clever idea of Rubens to come with hard ones for a final long run, as he requested on radio and we all heard.

      Ross’ a smart guy, why didn’t he consider this option?

      I’ll wait for InfoRace2 to come with the data from this GP, will be nice to see the lap times and where Rubens could may be with 20 seconds less on his time.

      I’m not a RB fan, but it’s strange how every time he’s ahead of JB, something involving team work happens and he gets behind JB. Unlucky? Maybe…

      The only excuse i’m seeing right now is from the team with the radio and this “full picture” stuff. Looks like even from inside the cockpit RB was seeing the race better than the crew on pit-wall.

      • I do find it very surprising that Brawn can sometimes get the strategy so right some of the time, as they did for Button in Bahrain for example, and yet other times get it so hopelessly wrong like they did for Barrichello today.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2009, 16:30

      My sentiments entirely. Good to see him speak his mind (even if I don’t agree with him).

      • But surely the strategy wasn’t wrong? The Brawns had to run very light in Q3 in order to be near the front, they didn’t have the race pace to be on a 2 stop strategy, nor could they make a set of tyres last half a race without graining badly. I don’t think Rubens could have won the race, the red bulls were too strong! Hopefully the next race will be warmer, and BrawnGP can strike back :-)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th July 2009, 19:31

          Massa’s strategy suggests they would have been better off qualifying lower down but using a more realistic strategy.

          Generally speaking, I’m not convinced of the merits of three-stop strategies in a championship where overtaking is hugely difficult and, consequently, track position is critical. It failed for Barrichello at Catalunya, it failed for Vettel at Istanbul, and it failed for both Brawns here.

          • Patrickl said on 12th July 2009, 21:25

            That doesn’t take into account that the Brawn cars have serious problems with their tyres.

            Button and Barrichello were struggling with their tyres even in their short stints. Let alone in longer stints.

          • SiY said on 13th July 2009, 10:10

            Don’t forget, though: Massa’s race was boosted hugely by KERS off the line, and by the influence of Heikki. Remember Rob Smedley on the radio near the start of the race: “Save the tyres, Felipe, this is perfect for us”.

            A three-stop is definitely not optimal, but with the Brawns’ tyre management it was pretty much the only way they could go. Even then, the gap between the softer tyre (big degradation on a setup designed to work the hard tyres) and harder tyres (which never got up to temperature, as the clouds came in at the end of the race) was just too big.

  12. Mahir C said on 12th July 2009, 16:01

    It is not pleasent to bash his team like that in public but what he said was totally true. If they switched him to 2 stops in his 1st pit stop he would have finished 2nd worst. And he ended up 6th. Brawn really screwed today.

    • Patrickl said on 12th July 2009, 17:48


      Both Barrichello and Button had serious tyre problems even in the short stints that they were doing.

      There was no way that they could have done a 2 stop strategy with their problems.

  13. saab said on 12th July 2009, 16:01

    I think Barrichello soon is history in F1 if he continues likethis after every race. It’s the fuel rig, the seat belt, the strategy, whatever… Please, Rubens, get over it! Every driver have their share of bad luck or annoying circumstances. But most of them keep their mouth shut in front of the media and work the problems inside the team – not at lest mentally. The way he is complaining as soon as he is out of the cockpit is to me a sign of that he knows he made an extremely lucky break when he ended up in Brawn GP with such a competitive car this late in his career, and that he is scared not being up to the task. And that attitude does not make a winner – or a driver the sponsors want to hear about.

  14. FLIG said on 12th July 2009, 16:03

    Yeah, well, I didn’t have anything against Brawn and Button before, but now I really want them to fail. I mean, Brawn could just ask to marry Rubens, so he could f**k him during nights too.


  15. nottherealthef1fanatic said on 12th July 2009, 16:06

    I think that Rubens has the right to complain as this is the second time he has been let down by the team. Firstly in Spain and now in Germany. Ross Brawn obviously favours Jenson, even though he is strugling in the cold weather more than Rubens.

    • saab said on 12th July 2009, 16:38

      What do you mean with “let down by the team”? We are sitting here after the races with all the facts on the table… What happened to every driver? How did the tires work? Where there any safety car? What about weather? Were there any mechanical problems? If you know everything about the future it’s easy to make decisions. The teams do not know that during the race but they still have to make split-second decisions. Why should Brawn deliberately slow down one car? What if Button went out and needed the team mate to pick up the points from other? What if everybody thought that it would rain in the end and wanted some options? Would you all have complained about the team if Barrichellos strategy then had worked out beautifully? It may be that Brawn favors Button, but then that is because he is a faster and (obviously) a more professional driver.

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