Barrichello takes emotional Valencia victory - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Barrichello takes emotional Valencia victory

Barrichello takes emotional Valencia victory

23/08/09 16:17

Barrichello fires himself back into the title chase
Rubens Barrichello made best of a heavy fuel load, superb tactics and a critical error from McLaren Mercedes to win the 57-lap European Grand Prix in Valencia, the tenth of his career and his first since Shanghai 2004. Wearing a tribute to the injured Felipe Massa on his crash helmet the emotional Brazilian took the chequered flag two seconds clear of pole-sitter Hamilton and in doing so moves second in the championship race, 18 points behind Brawn Mercedes team-mate Jenson Button.

Lewis Hamilton looked to be in complete control of the race in the early stages as he stormed away from the pole position with team-mate Heikki Kovalainen backing up Barrichello and allowing the Hungarian winner to pull a small advantage. Barrichello however was able to run close behind Kovalainen and with his heavier fuel load was able to gain second position following the first round of stops.

With his rear gunner now consigned to third, Hamilton pushed hard to keep the gap to the Brawn racer between three and four seconds. However it was all for nothing as on lap 38 Hamilton peeled off into the pit lane only to find the team had not prepared the tyres. As the crew scrambled around, the valuable seconds ticked by and after 14 seconds Hamilton was back in the race. Barrichello by this point was now six seconds up the road and the race was lost for McLaren.

It was a superb drive from Barrichello who may well have taken the victory regardless of Hamilton’s problem, but it would have been a whole lot closer. With Red Bull enduring an awful race weekend, Barrichello moves ahead of Mark Webber in the championship as the Australian finished ninth and out of the points, while Sebastian Vettel suffered a fuelling problem and then another engine failure to record his second straight failure to finish.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth and made best of KERS off the line to vault fourth by the first corner. From this point the 2007 champion drove his usual solid race, gaining third from Kovalainen in the second and final stop. Team-mate Luca Badoer had reasonable pace in race conditions, but his return after a decade on the sidelines in place of the injured Felipe Massa was littered with small errors leaving him 17th at the chequered flag.

Kovalainen will be disappointed with fourth position after running second through the first stint but the Finn held off the charging Nico Rosberg to the line and recorded his best finish, in what has been a difficult second season with McLaren Mercedes.

Rosberg continued his string of points scoring results with a fine fifth while team-mate Kazuki Nakajima’s race was compromised in qualifying with the mechanical and then destroyed in the race by a right rear puncture. The Japanese racer has yet to score this year.

Fernando Alonso chased Rosberg for much of the race before settling for sixth position at his home Grand Prix in the leading Renault while championship leader Jenson Button had a poor race to seventh position and just two championship points.

Starting fifth, Button made a good start to the race to run alongside Sebastian Vettel into the first turn. Perhaps with his large championship lead in his mind, Button backed off and this allowed four cars to stream through. The Brawn racer soon passed Mark Webber, but was judged to have cut a chicane to gain an unfair advantage and was forced to relinquish the position. The British driver would gain the place from Webber in the final round of pit stops, but it was a poor drive from a driver aiming for the ultimate prize.

Robert Kubica claimed the final point for the BMW Sauber team with a solid run to eighth position while Webber looked lost all weekend and finished a dismal ninth and out of the points. Red Bull Renault therefore leaves Valencia having failed to score and are now 27.5 points behind Brawn Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.

Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella showed good race pace to finish tenth and 12th for Force India Mercedes with Nick Heidfeld between in the second BMW Sauber. The Toyota duo of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock were both involved in lap one incidents, the former with Romain Grosjean and the latter with Sebastien Buemi, but went on to finish 13th and 14th.

Grosjean’s first Grand Prix was compromised by his contact with Trulli at the start of the race and a spin later in the race as he took 15th ahead of Jaime Alguersuari who really struggled in his second start with Toro Rosso. Team-mate Buemi was forced to pit for a new front wing after contact with Glock on the first lap and later spun out of the race with a front left brake failure.

The Formula One circus packs up and heads to the Eifel Mountains for the Belgian Grand Prix at the fabled Spa Francorchamps circuit. Red Bull needs to bounce back after a dismal Valencia weekend while Barrichello may be on a late season roll just at the time when his team-mate is losing his form...

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 10:22 AM
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Very happy for Rubens. It's one for the old guys! Mercedes engines 1-2. Nice.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 10:37 AM
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Quite a good day for Mercedes powered cars - even Force India did relatively well! MB power took 1, 2, 4, 7, 10 and 12th.

1 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 57 1:35:51.289 3 10
2 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 57 +2.3 secs 1 8
3 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 57 +15.9 secs 6 6
4 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +20.0 secs 2 5
5 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 57 +20.8 secs 7 4
6 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 57 +27.7 secs 8 3
7 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 57 +34.9 secs 5 2
8 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 57 +36.6 secs 10 1
9 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 57 +44.9 secs 9
10 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 57 +47.9 secs 12
11 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 57 +48.8 secs 11
12 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 57 +63.6 secs 16
13 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 +64.5 secs 18
14 10 Timo Glock Toyota 57 +86.5 secs 13
15 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 57 +91.7 secs 14
16 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 19
17 3 Luca Badoer Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 20
18 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 53 Retired 17
Ret 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 41 Brakes 15
Ret 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 23 Engine 4
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 05:30 PM
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Bravo Rubens. Great win but the race was so-so!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 06:01 PM
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^^Agreed, just another parade.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 06:11 PM
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Definitely. If it were not for Ruebens winning, that would have been a most unexciting race. Last year was the same way. Valencia is just not a track that produces interesting racing. I think either the track needs to be modified if possible or they need to drop the race. I would much rather see Canada or Indy than another Valencia. I know there the issues are more about fees and costs, but Valencia is a snooze that hurts F1.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Europe race analysis - Barrichello wins, Button trails

24 Aug 2009
Europe race analysis - Barrichello wins, Button trails
The Official Formula 1 Website

As Rubens Barrichello revelled in his return to form at Valencia, winning his first race in five years and his first with Brawn GP, team mate and championship leader Jenson Button again found himself on a damage limitation exercise, failing to find the same pace in his BGP001. Despite still leading the standings by 18 points, Button has averaged less than three points per race over the last four Grands Prix, and only had Red Bull’s poor showing to thank for his still considerable advantage. We examine Sunday’s action team by team…

Rubens Barrichello, P1
Jenson Button, P7
Barrichello was cock-a-hoop to score Brazil’s 100th Grand Prix victory and Bridgestone’s 150th, and his first since he left Ferrari in 2004. He has been threatening to do it all year, and he said his BGP001 was almost perfect as he kept Kovalainen under pressure until slipping ahead during the first stops then taking advantage when McLaren fumbled Hamilton’s second. His success, which gave Brawn 10 of their day’s 12 points, highlighted the trouble Button is in lately. The Englishman virtually maintained his points advantage - losing a half point thanks to Barrichello’s win - but showed no sign of digging himself out of the bunker he has been in since Silverstone. Brawn, however, pulled clear again of Red Bull, with 126 points to their 98.5.

Lewis Hamilton, P2
Heikki Kovalainen, P4
For a while it seemed that the 250th race for the McLaren-Mercedes alliance would yield their second victory of the season, but there was a mix-up calling Hamilton in for his second pit stop on the 37th lap. First he was told to come in, then to do one more lap, but by the time he got the second message he was already pitbound, and his front tyres were still attached to their heaters in the garage. That delay proved crucial, and according to some - though not the team - lost them the race. Hamilton was gracious about it and said they win and lose as a team, and there was no denying that the MP4-24 is a much improved machine. Kovalainen could not keep ahead of either Barrichello or Raikkonen, but 13 points boosted the team to fourth place overall ahead of Toyota, and only five behind Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen, P3
Luca Badoer, P17
Raikkonen said his car felt pretty good most of the way through the race, after a great KERS-assisted start put him in immediate contention for the final podium place. Badoer’s performance was woeful, as he circulated at the back of the field and finished 17th overall with Nakajima’s delayed Williams the only classified finisher behind him.

Nico Rosberg, P5
Kazuki Nakajima, P18
Yet again Nico Rosberg was in the thick of things for Williams, his fifth place marking his seventh consecutive points finish and his ninth of the season. He’d entertained thoughts of keeping ahead of Raikkonen, but soon had to concede there was no way that was going to happen. He said that the FW31 now seems to suit every circuit on which it races, and that the level of development is gratifying. A podium is an increasingly likely possibility given just a little bit better fortune. Nakajima has been short on that lately, and Valencia was no exception. A puncture on lap 38 really hurt his chances of a top 10 finish, and then he was called in to retire with two laps to go just in case his gearbox had been strained by the slow running back to the pits when the tyre failed.

Fernando Alonso, P6
Romain Grosjean, P15
As usual, Alonso got the best out of his Renault R29, and today that was sixth place. He said it was tough because of the heat and the need to push throughout during a series of battles. Grosjean had problems on the opening lap when his front wing was damaged in traffic and he had to pit for a replacement. Later he lost time with a half spin.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, P8
Nick Heidfeld, P11
Kubica lost out in the early going but then reported good pace on his shorter stints. He was able to pass Webber in the second stops, which meant the difference between scoring the final point and losing out. That was the first time BMW Sauber had scored since Silverstone. Heidfeld finished 11th yet again, after letting Kubica by because he was running a lighter fuel load. Then he had to fend off Sutil, which proved crucial because when Kovalainen rejoined after his second stop the German could not attack him even though he was running lighter because he had lost ground on the leading group.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, P9
Sebastian Vettel Retired lap 24, engine
Webber didn’t mince words and said the long and short of it was that he wasn’t quick enough, meaning he and the RB5. He had struggled all weekend. Vettel was running fifth at the time of his first pit stop on lap 16, but then had to make another on lap 17 because they weren’t able to get the fuel into the car first time around. Subsequently he lost the engine seven laps later, giving the team their first pointless race since Australia.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, P10
Giancarlo Fisichella, P12
Both drivers fought hard, but 10th and 12th places were the best they could realistically have hoped for.

Jarno Trulli, P13
Timo Glock, P14
This was another poor race for Toyota. Trulli made nothing from the start, and struggled immediately for grip just as he had in qualifying before his first stop on lap 34. Glock pitted for repairs after a first-lap brush with Buemi, then ran until lap 32 before refuelling. Curiously, he was then able to set fastest lap in the closing stages, for no reason that was immediately apparent to his team!

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, P16
Sebastien Buemi, retired lap 42, spin
Buemi ran into trouble on the opening lap after a front wing-damaging brush with Glock prompted an unscheduled pit stop for replacement. Thereafter he ran at the back until a brake disc problem halted him on the 42nd lap. Alguersuari found the race much tougher than Hungary, and with 10 laps to go couldn’t get anything from his drinks bottle.
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