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Barrichello Scores First Win in Five Years

August 23, 2009

Rubens Barrichello won his first race in five years in Valencia this afternoon, as the perfect strategy saw him snatch the win from McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton made the perfect getaway from pole, and led the race up until the second round of pitstops where an error made by the McLaren mechanics enabled Barrichello to leapfrog the race leader to take victory.

Barrichello had held his nerve up until that point, leapfrogging Heikki Kovalainen running second in the sister McLaren in the first round of pitstops. After spending the second stint hunting down and maintaining the gap to Hamilton, Rubens saw the opportunity to pass him in the second round of stops after the McLaren mechanics failed to get the Briton’s tyres out in time. The error cost Hamilton time, and inevitably the race. Barrichello passed the chequered flag just over three seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Kimi Raikkonen taking the last step on the podium.

Barrichello said: “It has been fantastic. It has been a weekend that I’ll never forget.”

Jenson Button in the sister Brawn, had less luck than his teammate, and a poor getaway saw him lose three places in the first corner. After chasing the Red Bull of Mark Webber for the majority of the race, a quick out lap in the second round of pitstops, coupled with a slow in lap by Webber, saw Button finish seventh, with Webber out of the points in ninth. An engine failure for Sebastian Vettel enables Button to maintain his lead in the drivers’ championship over the Red Bulls, and puts Barrichello back into second place, and 18 points adrift from the Brit.

Kovalainen brought his McLaren home in fourth, having been unable to match his teammate’s pace, and losing third place to Raikkonen. Nico Rosberg finished in fifth, with Fernando Alonso in sixth, Button seventh, and Robert Kubica rounding off the points scorers in eighth.

Barrichello’s win puts the Brazilian back in the hunt for the title, and with six rounds to go, it is becoming more likely that the title fight will once again go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi in November.

Rubens can now head to Belgium next weekend knowing that he has finally got a win under his belt for Brawn, and that the championship can still be his for the taking.

 

The next round will be in Belgium next weekend, with qualifying on Saturday 29th and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on Sunday 30th.

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