Rubens Barrichello lashes out after Brawn strategy costs him more points

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

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?

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

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  1. Rubens was never in a position to win the race, he was able to lead the race after the 1st corner, that is because Brawn light fueled him, but he couldn’t use the clean track for his advantage(car too slow, Rubens too old or whatever) that’s why he got stuck behind Massa…

    Of course Brawn is going to favor Button, now that Red Bulls are much faster/dominating. Championships are wide open again, and Rubens was so much behind.

    Brawn is just too kind to Rubens, look his days at Ferrari, the way Todt had treated him, at least Todt was able to keep the whiner to the inside!

  2. First of all congratulations to Mark for winning. I honestly never thought I’d see an Australian win in my lifetime (I’m Aussie myself). To hear our anthem play at an F1 almost brought a tear to my eye….

    Anyway, to continue with the discussion, it seemed like it was Massa who caused the main disruption to Brawn today, plus their strategy (but this has already been mentioned above anyway).

    Part of me wondered why Mark didn’t actually turn and thank Massa at the press conference. I think if it wasn’t for him he wouldn’t have got his position back after that drive through.

    1. Yes, congratulations to Mark! (I’d like to see Button beaten, by Webber not Vettel)

      IMO Massa wasn’t the problem, Kovi was 3rd lapping about 1 second per lap slower the leaders, he’s the reason Webber kept his position after his DT.

      I think Red Bulls are just too fast for Brawn, after all Webber outqualified them with much heavier fuel load.

  3. I really like Rubens and would love to see him win the championship. But his outburst was uncalled for, he’s been in the game long enough to know that’s not the way to behave. Badly done Rubens, badly done.

  4. jockmcspredder
    12th July 2009, 17:06

    The lack of rain probaly didn;t help Brawn strategy – I think they were relying on it.
    Well done to Mark. Like Jenson, a nearly man now a bit nearer.
    Rubens, would you be happy anywhere?

  5. Pedro Andrade
    12th July 2009, 17:27

    It appears Barrichello already talked with the team, and is now more subdued:

    “I had a great start today and was really pleased to have got ahead of Markdown into the first corner despite our collision. After leading on the first lap, it is of course hugely disappointing to have finished in sixth position. It was a combination of things really which are now very clear to me having spoken to the team. We didn’t have enough pace compared to the Red Bulls to win but the fuel rig problem at my second stop where we had to switch rigs probably cost me a place on the podium. That dropped me out behind Rosberg and the extra lap which Jenson had at our final stops was enough for him to get ahead of me. We’ll put this race behind and work really hard ahead to Hungary to try and catch up to the Red Bulls. Congratulations to Mark for his first win.”

    1. Reality bites.

      1. about time…

  6. His main problem is Button finishing ahead of him. He was happy if Button was finishing behind him.
    Main problem is that he want to escape from the fact that he is number.2

  7. Rubens is frustrated with the fact his last chance for a F1 championship is slipping away, race by race. His real career problem clearly isn’t Brawn, though, who’ve given him a wholly unexpected last shot, but his acceptance of the Schumacher dominance at Ferrari (under Brawn). There’s a price you pay for this kind of acquiescence in any walk of life: his own frustration over what might have been. Just now Webber, even with just the one win seems like he’ll probably be a lot more content with his F1 career when it comes to an end.

    1. Pedro Andrade
      12th July 2009, 18:31

      There’s no denying it that Barrichello was forced to play second fiddle to Schumcaher, and there were times when Barrichello was denied with the chance of beating him, but he did not lose any of those championships because of the team. He may have lost races but that was it.

      The fact that he is being so soundly beaten by Button further shows that he just does not have what it takes to take that last step.

      1. I agree Pedro. But the question is how Rubens sees all this, which explains his outburst today I guess. I also think he can’t blame anyone else for being comprehensively outperformed by Button in the first half of the season – apart from the fact maybe the Brawn (in hot weather) suits Jenson more.

        But – and I’m not commenting on today’s race as such – Brawn must be seriously worried Jenson’s lead will be whittled away by Red Bull and a resurgent Ferrari and even McLaren in the second half of the season. If so they really will have to back Jenson fully. Any other team would do the same.

      2. Well, I think it’s clear that Button > Barrichello, and I think it’s clear too that Schumacher > Button. I like Rubens, he’s a cool guy but to me, I think that (except for some races) he was clearly behind Schumacher.
        Even if there were no team orders back in Ferrari, he probably would never had won any championship. Maybe Schumacher would have lost some, but I don’t see Rubens as a WC winner

  8. Reubens can say whatever he wants. (Right or wrong) We all say we are tired of “corporate” type drivers. When someone speaks out we are so quick to analyse the comments to death and read way more into it than there really is. I do think Reubens will calm down a bit when he gets the full story and sees the telemetry. Is he a little frustrated ’cause he dropped two places in the driver standings today? Well yeah! Also, I do think he will be looking for a drive at the end of the season. (or does he have a two year contract?)

    1. Jenson and Rubens both have just 1 year contracts I think. I think I know which one I would extend.

  9. Poor barri.He always tries not be in some ones shadow .But always ends up being the sidekick only.

  10. The difference between Ferrari 2002 and Brawn 2009, is that Ferrari doesn’t try to hide things.

    Seriously it’s a shame for Brawn GP.

  11. What is there to debate ? I have said it many times already from race #1 of this season. Brawn is Button’s team. A British team w/ a British owner, a British sponsor and of course a favorite British driver. This discussion should be over by now. Let’s all accept w/ it and live w/ it. This is Button’s team for as long as he is in it.

    1. Are you serious?

      Barrichello was ahead of Button, but he slowed down to a crawl and he actually held up Button.

      Are you suggesting they told Barrichello to slow down and let Button by?

      Barrichello blew it again. He just cannot manage his tyres properly. Which makes it especuially silly that he was calling for a 2 stop strategy. Imagine him doing even more laps on those tyres after he ruined them in.

      What we should get used to is that Barrichello overestimates his abilities and is unable to take strategies into account. For instance he thinks he’s just as fast as Webber, but in reality he’s of course only as fast since his 3 stop strategy is making him .5s a lap faster.

      and of course that he a chronical whiner.

  12. Don’t they usually throw things away that are past their sell by date? Go on Roob, shut up or put up. Button is going to win the championship, so get over it.

    1. No he won’t. Vettel will win. I can’t believe someone else named Brian thinks that Button will win. I had always liked my name till then, but now I think i might have to change it. lol.

      1. I would, you talk nonsense.

  13. I have to agree with the argument that Rubens Barrichello still remembers only too well the Michael Schumacher years at Ferrari. I firmly believe that Rubens felt by moving to Honda in 2006 he would escape this kind of situation, in which he feels his team mate is getting the thicker end of the wedge from the team.
    When the cracks begin to appear between team mates, they often manifest themselves into bigger ones as time goes by. We saw that at McLaren in 2007 during the fallout from Hamilton’s outburst following the Monaco Gp, which certainly led the the events in Hungary later in the year.
    A blind man could see, following the Barcelona race this year, just how aggrieved Rubens was. During the press conferance, the Brazilian did well to keep his composure.
    One could argue he may well should have been better
    prepared for this. After all, his boss and team owner, Ross Brawn, played a massive role in Schumacher’s dominance not only of F1 but within Ferrari.
    The way I see it, Rubens had the perfect excuse at Ferrari not to win grands prix. Michael Schumacher! At Brawn Gp, the pundits have been less forgiving of his lack of performance.
    For nearly a decade, Jenson Button wallowed in the midfield in poorly concieved cars, yet in 2009 has claimed six grands prix victories. The bottomline is that a good strategy and team decisions maybe one thing, but only the driver can truly maximise his machine.
    Rubens lost the race behind Felipe Massa. Mark Webber had been handicapped by a penalty, yet still won. That tells its own story.

  14. I feel for Rubens but these outbursts against the team have to stop. He was not in possession of all the facts as was the case he last dumped on the team that has him where he is today. He seems to forget up and until December he was destined to hang up his helmut and be a spectator of the sport.
    No doubt he is anxious about his chances at a driver’s championship being so close and yet so far away it would seem.
    The fact is that the Brawn was not expected to do well yet has been very competitive, got off to a great start and now is slipping back into the hands of others who have progressed more than Brawn has in the last few races. As Ross says, 11th fastest lap speed is not going to win races. Ruben’s assumption is that they were 5th and 6th by essentially a pit stop which is true on the surface. However what he and the rest of us do not know is what would their fortunes been loaded with fuel for a long second stint in a 2 stopper? On their 4th stint they were both light on fuel, graining the rears badly and Alonzo was right there. They could well have finished poorer than where they did.
    Rubens needs to shut up, be a team player and be thankful for what Ross has given him.
    The guy who won today has suffered long and hard not winning is something over 130 races. Take a lesson Rubens and stop whinning or retire.

    1. hear hear

    2. hear hear indeed

  15. hhmm – just reading that last rather harsh comment.

    As far as I know there is nothing to stop Ruebens from spraking his mind (having his outbursts)he’s well known for wearing his heart on his sleeve and this shouldnt suprise anyone.

    He may actually have been in possession of even more facts than we are, even now – he does know a thing or two about racing.

    He was not destined to hang up his helmet last Decemeber, he was actually determined that if
    he didnt have an F1 seat he would race in a different series.

    Im in the something smells bad camp, and not just in Brawn but possibly in F1 – there are so many
    incidents that seem designed to generate headlines that it becomes more about the politics than the sport.

  16. Simone, don’t get me wrong. I felt Rubens suffered while at Ferrari during Schumacher’s reign and Massa did as well until MS retired.
    Rubens may have thought he would race in another series but where were the offers? He could say that but what was the reality?
    There were none from NASCAR, Indy Car, and I did not see his name on any press release saying that the LeMans series was interested. He sure would not go to any lesser stature series. He is too proud a man and rightfully so.
    The fact is he is getting on in age for F1 and his ability to race in it is a function of Ross Brawn’s faith in him which any smart guy would appreciate. If he has an issue the press is the last place to air it. That is my point.

  17. I agree with Rubens completely, although I don’t think he’s right to voice it publically. This was one of the few times that he had been out-performing button and if it weren’t for the pit stop error he would have finished ahead of button, even with a 3 stopper. If they had done a 2 stop strategy he would have at least been on the podium, but its hard for us to criticize Brawn for that strategy call when we don’t know if the car couldve done that long of a second stint with their tire wear issues. Either way I think Rubens gets more of a hard time thatn he deserves, and recently has been proving himself a match (or at least close to a match) for the much younger Button.

    1. Williams 4ever
      13th July 2009, 14:15

      and recently has been proving himself a match (or at least close to a match) for the much younger Button.

      And by recently you mean through 2007-08 when team had come up with Dog of Car, and Brazilian was working around the problem, out performing the team-mate while his much Favored Brit Team-mate was on mental vacation :-?

  18. I like simone’s “conspiracy” twist ;)

    I’m with the camp who don’t mind a bit of emotional display and believe that too much was made out of this non-story. We all know Rubens’ frustration. I agree that Rubens has never been “championship” material, but let’s give him some slack, afterall he has driven to win a few respectable (if not fantastic) races, overtaking almost the entire field from the back.

    I did watch the race today from start to end, was interesting purely due to strategy and tyres. But until F1 goes back to the fundamentals, i.e. having on-track fights and overtaking for the top 3 positions, we’ll be licking the bones of stories like this.

    “Hello F1” magazine anyone? :)

    1. well said!

    2. I thought that was

  19. 3 stop was bad.I believe Barrichello is a bit frustrated because of his unlucky situation.Choosing number 1 is not the right time.He out paced Button on the last two races that proves that he still has a long way to go.

  20. In a way, Rubens is still showing lots of fire and desire to succeed. But surely slagging off his team like that is not helping him one bit.

    Without Brawn, Rubens would be watching the races in his retirement home.

    But guys, give him a break. At least we’re able to hear from red-misted drivers speaking his mind at spur of the moment, and not some post race press release mickey mouse stuff.

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