Brawn assures Rubens of fair title shot - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Brawn assures Rubens of fair title shot

Brawn assures Rubens of fair title shot

Tuesday, 12 May 2009 13:07

Brawn assures Rubens of fair title shot - F1 | ITV Sport

Ross Brawn says Rubens Barrichello has no reason to fear not being given the same opportunities as Jenson Button to win the world title, insisting there is “no favouritism” at his team.

Button beat his veteran team-mate to victory in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix after the team switched him to a two-stop strategy at his first pit stop, Brawn citing Barrichello’s poor pace during his penultimate stint as the reason why his three-stop plan didn’t transfer his early race lead into the win.

Speaking to American television after the race, Barrichello said he would “hang up my helmet tomorrow” if he thought the team was favouring Button – although he admitted he didn’t think Brawn, who he previously worked with at Ferrari from 2000-5, would operate such a policy.

With the Brazilian’s comments hitting the headlines, Brawn has moved to pour cold water on the situation by insisting his drivers are on an equal footing in the team.

"We don't have a one and a two driver," Brawn told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"They're both on equal terms and conditions."

The issue of team orders is particularly pertinent regarding Barrichello’s career given he had to obey them while alongside Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, the most blatant example of which saw him told to concede victory to his team leader in site of the chequered flag in Austria in 2003.

Brawn, however, says Barrichello understood the reasons for Button’s strategy switch after the race and his comments to the media have been “overblown”.

"Once he got back and we talked things through he was fine," he said.

"Rubens is a great team player. Everyone is working so well together and Rubens and Jenson recognise that.

"The fact we have such a great atmosphere drives us on and we don't want to lose that.

"We've been completely honest with the drivers. They know the situation and their engineers know that – there's no favouritism.”

With Button (41 points) and Barrichello (27 points) the top two in the drivers’ championship, the pair are likely to remain the main contenders for the title given Brawn’s current speed advantage.

The team owner said orders would only come into play if, as is the usual practice in the sport, one of the pair mathematically slipped out of contention towards the end of the season.

"Our plan is to give both drivers both equal opportunity unless there is a mathematical chance one can't do it," Brawn added.

"If one driver can do it and one can't then we would have to focus on that driver."
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