Michael defends Barrichello strategy

Williams technical director Sam Michael said he was happy with the team’s decision not to pit Rubens Barrichello during the safety car period in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Barrichello was ninth before the safety car came out and ended the race tenth, having fallen behind team mate Nico H???lkenberg, both Saubers and Jenson Button.

Michael explained the decision not to pit Barrichello:

Our prime reason for not pitting Rubens when the Safety Car was deployed was to avoid doing 55 laps on the softer, Option tyre which, at that stage, we didn’t think would last for that amount of time.

More importantly, if we had stacked both the cars in the pitlane, Nico would have significantly lost out. The strategy we chose maximised the points we collected.
Sam Michael

Barrichello was one of few drivers who started the race on hard tyres. Sebastien Buemi did too and he did pit during the safety car period, but his lap times on his new super-soft tyres dropped off before Barrichello’s did on his original medium tyres (see the fastest lap chart to compare).

Michael also expressed satisfaction with H???lkenberg’s performance following his best result of the year so far:

Nico drove a solid race. He was on the correct tyre given the safety car situation, which was a result of him qualifying well on Saturday.
Sam Michael

2010 Hungarian Grand Prix

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29 comments on Michael defends Barrichello strategy

  1. RandomChimp (@randomchimp) said on 3rd August 2010, 17:48

    “Michael defends Barrichello strategy”

    A misleading headline!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd August 2010, 17:49


      • RandomChimp (@randomchimp) said on 3rd August 2010, 17:51

        My brain immediately added ‘Schumacher’ after ‘Michael’. Maybe just me. :)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd August 2010, 18:10

          Then it would be “Schumacher defends Barrichello strategy”. And you’d have to wonder why he would care about Barrichello’s strategy!

          • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 4th August 2010, 1:20

            Well, for me, I automatically jumped to what Schumacher did with Barrichello. Maybe you should write Sam Michael just to clear it up. Because it appears lots of people get confused to begin with at least until they go into the article

          • RandomChimp (@randomchimp) said on 4th August 2010, 7:33

            Apologies, the headline in itself is not misleading but the all the interest in Barrichello and Schumacher’s incident make it a little unfortunate, as Jarred says.

          • hawkfist said on 4th August 2010, 9:34

            In all honesty, whenever you hear pit radio everyone, Mercedes or otherwise, refers to him as Michael, and it was what I immediately thought as well, it’s not wrong, just misleading given the events of the weekend ;)

          • leon said on 4th August 2010, 20:12

            But Keith, you have to admit that immediate mental associations with specific names/words in F1 are quite normal. I too was drawn in by the words you used, and had a bloody good laugh at my own gullibility !

            I think we’re all still just a bit gob-smacked by the move MSC pulled on Barrichello and what the consequences might have been. That was just too damn close.

            Doesn’t Sam Michael always sound rock-solid on strategy. What a guy to have running your F1 team.

          • Mike said on 5th August 2010, 11:22

            This has come up before! Ha!

        • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 3rd August 2010, 18:57

          I always think of Schumi too whenever it’s (Sam) Michael

      • Pan151 said on 3rd August 2010, 17:52

        Because of Michael Schumacher… (lolo, that would have been fun!)

  2. Pan151 said on 3rd August 2010, 17:50

    Well, at least race strategy has not died since refueling was banned. Barrichello and Webber have proved that in this race.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd August 2010, 18:41

    As Webber showed us, those tyres could run for 50 laps from the start with heavy fuel(44 race laps, the lap to the grid and installation lap as well as a outlap, 2 fast laps and a inlap in Q3).

    But i like their reasoning, that it would hurt the Hulk to much and hardly anybody would have betted on those tyres lasting.

  4. gabal (@gabal) said on 3rd August 2010, 20:42

    I really like that teams are getting a bit braver with strategies as it can add excitement in later parts of the race. Kobayashi in Valencia and Barrichello in Hungary were fine examples of benefit that comes from taking a different direction with strategy.

    • gwenouille said on 3rd August 2010, 23:04

      Yes, but getting rid of that annoying tyres rule (of using the 2 compounds) would be nice too. In the case of Kobayashi in Valencia, we would have been robbed of 2 overtaking manoevers, but that very late pitstop kind of ruined his race…

  5. dragon said on 4th August 2010, 14:08

    AGAIN, Keith, it happened again – and this time it’s much more relevant :P I could almost think you’re doing it on purpose :D

  6. chris sz said on 4th August 2010, 15:35

    well it got me to open the article,otherwise i probably wouldn’t have bothered. most of us readers thought it had to do with the ( michael )schumacher incident…

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