Brazilian demands answers to team's strategy switch
Monday 11 May 2009
A cynic might suggest that nobody is more experienced in the subtle art of making sure that the right driver wins than former the Ferrari mastermind Ross Brawn. And there were a few such people in the paddock in Barcelona yesterday as Rubens Barrichello did not try to hide his displeasure at being left on a three-stop refuelling strategy while team-mate Jenson Button was afforded the opportunity to switch to a two-stop and thus won a Spanish GP that had seemed to be gift-wrapped with a tag bearing the Brazilian's name.
"It is good for him and the team that they changed the strategy," Barrichello said, glancing over at Button, "but I'd like to understand why they did that." Or rather, why they did that just for Button. It is not just Brawn who calls the strategy in such circumstances, rather a group of engineers, but Brawn owns the team. "This morning we decided three stops was the way to go," said Barrichello (below with Button). "But we'll have a meeting again and then we'll have some answers."
His mien and body language spoke volumes, though his manner with Button was what it has always been: close friendship and respect. But then questioners began to compare it with his time at Ferrari, when he was forced to surrender race wins to Michael Schumacher. "Ferrari all over again?" he said. "I'm very experienced with that and if it happens I won't follow any team orders any more. I'm making it clear now so that everybody knows."
At that point Button interjected curtly: "Our strategic calculations said a three-stop was quicker. Full stop." Barrichello's face suggested that, having made his point publicly, he felt things were getting out of hand. "It is much more different than what we had at Ferrari, much more friendly. I just need to know what went wrong today, that's it.
"I'm definitely putting my hands to the sky to say thanks because this is a great car. Not so long ago people were putting flowers on my grave and saying my driving was over."
"We both work very closely in the team," Button said, answering the Ferrari accusation. "We are both here to win. It went my way today, but he might win in Monaco."
Brawn said: "I don't want a driver who doesn't get angry in such situations. But if you look at the lap times, they show that Rubens was not as quick as we expected. That's what won Jenson the race."
Brendan Rodgers says Manchester City's slip is timely warning for Liverpool title hopes
30 players who could be set for a big-money transfer this summer
Manchester United transfer news: David Moyes watches Porto stars Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez as recruitment drive steps up a gear
Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2 match report: Gareth Bale scores wonder goal to claim Copa del Rey for Real
Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 3 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back